scourge

noun
\ ˈskərj How to pronounce scourge (audio) , ˈskȯrj, ˈsku̇rj \

Definition of scourge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : whip especially : one used to inflict pain or punishment
2 : an instrument of punishment or criticism
3 : a cause of wide or great affliction

scourge

verb
scourged; scourging

Definition of scourge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : flog, whip
2a : to punish severely
b : afflict
c : to drive as if by blows of a whip
d : chastise

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Other Words from scourge

Verb

scourger noun

Synonyms for scourge

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of scourge in a Sentence

Noun a city ravaged by the scourge of unemployment The disease continues to be a scourge in the developing world. Verb a neighborhood scourged by crime The prisoner was scourged with a whip.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 — a scourge worse than our own — has always received short shrift in the history books, this virus, too, shall pass. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: With COVID-19 vaccination expanding, 'normal' could return with blinding speed," 31 Mar. 2021 The death of his mother at the hands of a vampire launches Abraham Lincoln on a 45-year quest to avenge her and eliminate the undead scourge from the world. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021 For many in the nation, the shootings, which occurred less than a week apart, have been a solemn reminder that while there’s some hope the U.S. can beat COVID-19 someday, there’s far less optimism that leaders can end the gun violence scourge. Melissa Chan, Time, "Mass Shootings: 'This Is What Normal Has Come to Be Like in America'," 24 Mar. 2021 Robocalls have become a nationwide scourge in recent years, despite efforts from the FCC and Congress to crack down on them. Rachel Sandler, Forbes, "FCC Issues Largest Fine Ever Against Fake Health Insurance Robocallers," 17 Mar. 2021 Fauci has estimated that somewhere between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population needs to get inoculated to stop the scourge in the country. Manuel Balce Ceneta, Star Tribune, "Faith leaders get COVID-19 shot to curb vaccine reluctance," 16 Mar. 2021 The scourge struck unfairly at the services sector of our economy. Phil Blair, San Diego Union-Tribune, "What to do when your occupation is no longer around," 8 Mar. 2021 Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called on members of the military to share their experiences with extremism in a 60-day push aimed at reducing the scourge in the ranks. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "‘We need your help’: Lloyd Austin calls on troops to help fight extremism in ranks," 22 Feb. 2021 From frothy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies to awards bait, a years-long scourge of showing extremely intimate characters with zero text history continues to taint TV and movies. Zak Jason, Wired, "TV Characters Don’t Have Text History. This Is Not OK," 16 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prior to Christ's crucifixion, Roman soldiers ordered him to be scourged. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Passion of the Christ actor says injuries he suffered on set made film 'beautiful'," 23 Mar. 2020 Yet what’s most original in the film is Mercier’s scathing and self-scourging performance (and there’s no gainsaying the importance of Yoav’s outfit, a collarless saffron-yellow coat). Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Preview: Highlights from the First Week of the New York Film Festival," 26 Sep. 2019 After a wet few years in the Great Lakes basin, the Lake Michigan water levels tied a record July high from 1986 — and that’s less than six years after record low levels scourged the region in 2013. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The water levels on Lake Michigan tied a 33-year-old record high this July. Boaters are seeing the effects," 5 Aug. 2019 Powerful air armadas scourged German defenses, with 750 to 1000 Flying Fortresses and Liberators mauling bridges, railroad targets and airfields in an arc 100 to 150 miles south of the beachhead. Houston Chronicle, "FIRST INVASION GOAL REACHED," 9 June 2019 Since then, as The Los Angeles Times reported, the resulting blaze had scorched 121,000 acres, destroyed 1,564 buildings, killed six, and scourged the city of Redding and the surrounding area, a little over 200 miles north of San Francisco. Lauren Young, Teen Vogue, "California Wildfires Are Proof of Climate Change, According to Governor Jerry Brown," 2 Aug. 2018 From their first dogfights in December 1941 until their contracts expired in July 1942, the Tigers scourged the enemy with breathtaking courage. Gregory Crouch, WSJ, "‘The Flying Tigers’ and ‘A Few Planes for China’ Review: Tigers Over a Rising Sun," 19 July 2018 The single-use plastic straw — colorful, functional and handed out in bunches — has suddenly shifted from consumer staple to scourge, projected by some critics to foul ecosystems for an eon. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "From a South Side plastics factory to McDonald's HQ, Chicago is on the front lines of anti-straw push," 11 June 2018 There also will be a scourging pillar, a Roman lance, and a life-size corpus on the cross that portrays a dramatic scene, as well as various other items of that time. Joanne Berger Dumound/special To Cleveland.com., cleveland.com, "Local lecturer brings world class Shroud of Turin exhibit to Greater Cleveland," 19 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of scourge

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scourge

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French escorge, from escorger to whip, from Vulgar Latin *excorrigiare, from Latin ex- + corrigia thong, whip

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Time Traveler for scourge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for scourge

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scourge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scourge. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for scourge

scourge

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scourge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal + literary : someone or something that causes a great amount of trouble or suffering
: a whip that was used to punish people in the past

scourge

verb

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

formal + literary
: to cause a lot of trouble or suffering for (someone or something)
: to hit (someone) with a whip as punishment

scourge

noun
\ ˈskərj How to pronounce scourge (audio) \

Kids Definition of scourge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cause of widespread or great suffering The disease is a scourge in rural areas.

scourge

verb
scourged; scourging

Kids Definition of scourge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to cause trouble or suffering to : afflict Crime scourges the neighborhood.
2 : to whip severely : flog

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