\ ˈskȯr How to pronounce score (audio) \
plural scores

Definition of score

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 or plural score
a : twenty
b : a group of 20 things often used in combination with a cardinal number fourscore
c : an indefinitely large number
2a : a line (such as a scratch or incision) made with or as if with a sharp instrument
b(1) : a mark used as a starting point or goal
(2) : a mark used for keeping account
3a : an account or reckoning originally kept by making marks on a tally
b : amount due : indebtedness
4 : grudge a score to settle
5a : reason, ground was accepted on the score of high academic achievement
b : subject, topic has nothing to say on that score
6a : the copy of a musical composition in written or printed notation
b : a musical composition specifically : the music for a movie or theatrical production
c : a complete description of a dance composition in choreographic notation
7a : a number that expresses accomplishment (as in a game or test) or excellence (as in quality) either absolutely in points gained or by comparison to a standard
b : an act (such as a goal, run, or touchdown) in any of various games or contests that gains points
8 : success in obtaining something (such as money or drugs) especially through illegal or irregular means
9 : the stark inescapable facts of a situation knows the score


scored; scoring

Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to keep a record or account of by or as if by notches on a tally : record
b : to enter in a record
c : to mark with significant lines or notches (as in keeping account)
2 : to mark with lines, grooves, scratches, or notches
3 : berate, scold also : denounce
4a(1) : to make (a score) in a game or contest scored a touchdown scored three points
(2) : to enable (a base runner) to make a score
(3) : to have as a value in a game or contest : count a touchdown scores six points
b(1) : achieve, attain scored a dazzling success
(2) : acquire help a traveler score local drugs— Poitor Koper
(3) : win sense 1 scored free tickets over the radio
5 : to determine the merit of : grade
6a : to write or arrange (music) for a specific performance medium
b : to make an orchestration of
c : to compose a score for (a movie)

intransitive verb

1 : to keep score in a game or contest
2 : to make a score in a game or contest
3a : to gain or have the advantage
b : to be successful: such as
(1) : to succeed in having sexual intercourse
(2) : to manage to obtain illicit drugs
score points
: to gain favor, status, or advantage

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from score


scorer noun

Synonyms for score

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of score in a Sentence

Noun students with low test scores The film's score is by a famous composer. Verb She scored twice in the game. Each correct answer scores two points. In American football, a touchdown scores six points. Who's going to score the game? Judges will score the performances based on their artistic and technical features. Which judges are scoring tonight?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Signing for an incorrect score led to the disqualification. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "Koepka misses Masters cut, says he's going to take a break," 10 Apr. 2021 Tubergen’s 3 with 1:52 left in the half gave Hudsonville its first lead of the day, 30-29, and that score stood at halftime. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan high school girls basketball: Hudsonville holds off Renaissance for Division 1 title," 9 Apr. 2021 Her first dive was the highest score of the preliminaries and her highest of the season. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "Sadie reveals her final moments with Chase: 'He said I love you. Worry 0%.'," 9 Apr. 2021 Keep in mind that the state’s presentation on this score is not dispositive. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Gripping Medical Testimony Gets Chauvin Prosecution Back on Track," 9 Apr. 2021 Prohibits insurance rate determinations based on risks classified by gender, age, credit score/rating and marital status. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, "Edwards' legislative agenda includes mandatory kindergarten, teacher raises, higher minimum wage," 9 Apr. 2021 After Lillard made the score 68-68 in the third, the Jazz went on a 10-2 run to take a 78-70 lead with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers falter in 3rd quarter, lose 122-103 at Utah Jazz: Game rewind," 9 Apr. 2021 Dustin Johnson’s winning score of 20 under par was a tournament record, and 43 players finished the event under par. New York Times, "At the Masters, Justin Rose Is an Outlier, and Establishes an Early Lead," 8 Apr. 2021 Some late-game misses, a couple of defensive miscues and Morris’ ejection in the final three minutes knocked the game out of reach — the final score not indicative of 48 minutes where the Lakers never let the Heat get separation. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers, missing two more players, fall short against the Heat," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Malkin made Alabama pay with a two-run single past the shortstop to pull the Razorbacks within 4-3, but Arkansas wouldn't score again. Paul Boyd, Arkansas Online, "Missed moments," 10 Apr. 2021 Bellaire’s top player Jacey Somers, a 6-foot sophomore, didn’t score her first basket until the 5:37 mark of the third quarter. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan high school girls basketball: Riley sisters help Fowler cruise to Div. 4 title," 9 Apr. 2021 Jordan Clarkson’s in a slump and made poor decisions, and Conley couldn’t score. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "The Triple Team: Jazz get bested on the defensive glass, don’t shoot with confidence in loss to Suns," 7 Apr. 2021 Suggs' teammates didn't even score their first field goal until Corey Kispert's three-pointer 4 ½ minutes into the game. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Baylor foils Gonzaga's bid for perfection, wins NCAA basketball title," 5 Apr. 2021 Khris Middleton didn’t score until early in the third quarter and finished with 16 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 129, Kings 128: Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez help make up for Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence," 3 Apr. 2021 The Cougars’ best player, Quentin Grimes, didn’t score until almost two minutes into the second half. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "After dominant win over an old SWC foe, Baylor’s on the cusp of achieving what once seemed impossible," 3 Apr. 2021 Butler didn't score and only attempted one shot in the second half. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "Analysis: Baylor primed for first men's NCAA basketball championship as depth overpowers Houston," 3 Apr. 2021 While the Warriors didn’t score a single fast-break point, Toronto got behind the Golden State defense for 24 easy points. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors' Steve Kerr calls blowout loss to Toronto: 'Humiliating for everybody involved'," 2 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'score.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of score


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for score


Middle English scor, from Old Norse skor notch, tally, twenty; akin to Old English scieran to cut — more at shear

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about score

Time Traveler for score

Time Traveler

The first known use of score was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for score

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Score.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for score



English Language Learners Definition of score

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the number of points, goals, runs, etc., that each player or team has in a game or contest
chiefly US : the number of points that someone gets for correct answers on a test, exam, etc.
: a document showing all the notes of a piece of music



English Language Learners Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get points, goals, runs, etc., in a game or contest
: to be worth (a particular number of points) in a game or contest
: to officially record the number of points, goals, runs, etc., that each player or team gets in a game or contest


\ ˈskȯr How to pronounce score (audio) \

Kids Definition of score

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a record of points made or lost (as in a game)
2 : the number of points earned for correct answers on a test
3 : a group of 20 things : twenty
4 : harm done by someone and kept in mind for later response I have a score to settle with you.
6 : a line (as a scratch) made with or as if with something sharp
7 : ground entry 1 sense 8, reason We were tired but wouldn't leave on that score.
8 : the written or printed form of a musical composition

Other Words from score

scoreless \ -​ləs \ adjective


scored; scoring

Kids Definition of score (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make or cause to make a point or points in a game His brother scored a touchdown.
2 : to cut or mark with a line, scratch, or notch I scored the wood with a knife.
4 : grade entry 2 sense 1, mark My teacher spent the weekend scoring our reports.
5 : to set down in an account : record
6 : to keep the score in a game

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on score

What made you want to look up score? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!