scour

verb (1)
\ ˈskau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce scour (audio) \
scoured; scouring; scours

Definition of scour

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to rub hard especially with a rough material for cleansing
b : to remove by rubbing hard and washing
2 archaic : to clear (a region) of enemies or outlaws
3 : to clean by purging : purge
4 : to remove dirt and debris from (something, such as a pipe or ditch)
5 : to free from foreign matter or impurities by or as if by washing scour wool
6 : to clear, dig, or remove by or as if by a powerful current of water

intransitive verb

1 : to perform a process of scouring
2 : to suffer from diarrhea or dysentery
3 : to become clean and bright by rubbing

scour

noun

Definition of scour (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a place scoured by running water
2 : scouring action (as of a glacier)
3 : diarrhea, dysentery usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
4 : scouring sense 1 also : damage done by scouring action

scour

verb (2)
scoured; scouring; scours

Definition of scour (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to move about quickly especially in search

transitive verb

: to go through or range over in or as if in a search

Other Words from scour

Verb (1)

scourer noun

Did you know?

There are two distinct homographs of the verb scour in English. One means to clean something by rubbing it hard with a rough object; that scour, which goes back to at least the early 14th century, probably derives—via Middle Dutch and Old French—from a Late Latin verb, excurare, meaning "to clean off." The other, which appears in the 13th century, is believed to derive from the Old Norse skūr, meaning "shower." (Skūr is also distantly related to the Old English scūr, the ancestor of our English word shower.) Many disparate things can be scoured. For example, one can scour an area (as in "scoured the woods in search of the lost dog") or publications (as in "scouring magazine and newspaper articles").

First Known Use of scour

Verb (1)

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

Noun

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for scour

Verb (1)

Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch schuren, from Old French escurer, from Late Latin excurare to clean off, from Latin, to take good care of, from ex- + curare to care for, from cura care

Verb (2)

Middle English scuren, skouren, probably from scour, noun, (in phrase god scour quickly), perhaps from Old Norse skūr shower; akin to Old English scūr shower — more at shower

Learn More About scour

Time Traveler for scour

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The first known use of scour was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near scour

scoup

scour

scourge

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Cite this Entry

“Scour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scour. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for scour

scour

verb
\ ˈskau̇r How to pronounce scour (audio) \
scoured; scouring

Kids Definition of scour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to rub hard with a rough substance or object in order to clean
2 : to free or clear from impurities by or as if by rubbing

scour

verb
scoured; scouring

Kids Definition of scour (Entry 2 of 2)

: to go or move swiftly about, over, or through in search of something Detectives scoured the records for a clue.

scour

intransitive verb
\ ˈskau̇(ə)r How to pronounce scour (audio) \

Medical Definition of scour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of a domestic animal
: to suffer from diarrhea or dysentery a diet causing cattle to scour

scour

noun

Medical Definition of scour (Entry 2 of 2)

: diarrhea or dysentery occurring especially in young domestic animals usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction

More from Merriam-Webster on scour

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scour

Nglish: Translation of scour for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scour for Arabic Speakers

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