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

flogger, lash, switch, whip

Synonyms: Verb

destroy, devastate, ravage, ruin

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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

Alex Morgan stood over the ball until Spain midfielder Virginia Torrecilla’s kick to the shin of U.S midfielder Rose Lavelle was reviewed by the Video Assistant Referee, which has become the momentum-killing scourge of this tournament. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Megan Rapinoe’s sure-footed determination is powering U.S. in World Cup," 24 June 2019 The state also acted to ban plastic bags, an unsightly scourge in many locales, though paper bags were left less regulated. New York Times, "12 Ways the Progressive Takeover Is Transforming New York," 21 June 2019 Some ancient human scourges have proven amenable to extinction—for example, smallpox, polio, and guinea worm—and the hope would be that new threats would prove, after analysis, to be equally amenable. George Church, Ars Technica, "We should create a global DNA threat-detection network to fight future pathogens," 19 June 2019 Less than a year into his presidency, Trump declared the opioid scourge a national emergency. Ellen Florian, Fortune, "J&J Called a 'Kingpin' in Opioid Case That Could Be a Test for 1,600 More Lawsuits," 7 June 2019 As the two spar about many subjects—morality, art, music, the theater, and the scourge of insufficient talent—unsuspected points of convergence appear. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 For instance, the steadily rising expense of education and health care is almost universally deplored as an economic scourge, despite being caused by something indubitably good: rapid, if unevenly spread, productivity growth. The Economist, "The rising cost of education and health care is less troubling than believed," 20 June 2019 Coupled with the detection systems George calls for, biomanufacturing at the edge would harden us against manmade scourges, as well as to ancient ones like the flu. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "In the not-so-distant future, “synbio” could lead to global catastrophe—maybe," 18 June 2019 Jealous says legalization would end the scourge of violence in Baltimore and generate tax revenue to help pay for universal prekindergarten. Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post, "As Democrats stump, Hogan kicks off reelection campaign," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Any progressive politician who wants to gain power has to find common interests with some of them, without waiting for the day of reckoning first to scourge white Americans of their original sin. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "The Atlantic Daily: Mission and Missile," 15 Sep. 2017 While historic extremes of weather recently scourged Texas, Washington’s summer was largely without extremes, based on National Weather Service data released Friday. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Washington area’s summer months come to end largely without extremes," 1 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for scourge

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scourge

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on scourge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scourge

Spanish Central: Translation of scourge

Nglish: Translation of scourge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scourge for Arabic Speakers

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