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

But soon, the heavy weight of ammunition because a scourge of soldiers. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Overloaded Soldier: Why U.S. Infantry Now Carry More Weight Than Ever," 26 Dec. 2018 But while the scourge continues to grow overall, some countries actually saw a slight decline — including the US. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Spam calls grew 300 percent worldwide in 2018, according to Truecaller," 18 Dec. 2018 Easy access to opioids is one of the great scourges of contemporary society. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Gallery Owner Says Opioid Exhibit, Protest At Purdue Just The Beginning Of 'Spoon Movement'," 26 June 2018 The group had been one of Colombia’s biggest drug trafficking organizations, and many had hoped after the signing of the peace accord in 2016 that the country would put an end to the scourge for good. Washington Post, "US report: Colombia coca production surges to record high," 26 June 2018 Geneticists are a step closer to understanding how plague evolved into one of the great scourges of human history. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "4,000-year-old genomes point to origins of bubonic plague," 12 June 2018 And that's probably for the best considering Bitcoin is an environmental scourge by its very nature. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Bitcoin Plunges to a Year-Long Low," 20 Nov. 2018 For years now, the extent of the heroin and prescription opioid painkiller addiction scourge ravaging the United States has become increasingly clear. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Pain Patients and Opioids, Gene Editing Cholesterol, Doctor Burnout," 10 July 2018 There’s a lot at stake: Her job is one of the few city posts with power to tame the city’s scourge of violent crime. Washington Post, "Top Baltimore prosecutor Mosby wins Democratic primary," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

19 Feb 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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