scourge

noun
\ˈskərj, 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 & Antonyms for scourge

Synonyms: Noun

affliction, bane, curse, nemesis

Synonyms: Verb

birch, cowhide, flagellate, flail, flog, hide, horsewhip, lash, leather, slash, switch, thrash, whale, whip

Antonyms: Noun

benefit, blessing, boon, felicity, godsend, good, manna, windfall

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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

America’s heroin and opioid scourge is intimate and distant, resounding and silent. Jeffrey Fleishman, latimes.com, "Documentary films explore the despair of America's heroin and opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 The judge overseeing the case, Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio, said during a January hearing that this scourge was man-made and that lawyers need to reach a resolution quickly, because approximately 150 people are dying each day. Katie Zezima, Anchorage Daily News, "An epic battle over the opioid crisis moves to an Ohio courtroom," 8 Apr. 2018 But near the top of the president's priorities should also be securing the crown prince's commitment to lead the ideological war against the scourge of violent jihadism. chicagotribune.com, "Saudi Arabia can win Islam's war of ideas," 16 Mar. 2018 Rosenstein also referred to the department's effort against the scourge of opioid addiction, with Justice recently pledging to pursue manufacturers. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, says Robert Mueller is 'not an unguided missile'," 12 Mar. 2018 This idea could gain traction, considering a recent spate of mass shootings in Texas has only strengthened the resolve of lawmakers to answer the scourge of gun violence with more guns. Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, "Republican activists striving for more," 14 June 2018 While several other state attorneys general have taken similar legal action against Purdue, Healey’s action Tuesday opens a new front in the battle against the scourge of overdoses in Massachusetts. Joshua Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey sues opioid maker Purdue Pharma," 12 June 2018 The judge overseeing the case, Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio, said during a January hearing that this scourge was man-made and that lawyers need to reach a resolution quickly, because approximately 150 people are dying each day. Katie Zezima, Anchorage Daily News, "An epic battle over the opioid crisis moves to an Ohio courtroom," 8 Apr. 2018 The judge overseeing the case, Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio, said during a January hearing that this scourge was man-made and that lawyers need to reach a resolution quickly, because approximately 150 people are dying each day. Katie Zezima, chicagotribune.com, "Epic opioid battle heads to Ohio courtroom," 7 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

15 Oct 2018

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)

: 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)

: to cause a lot of trouble or suffering for (someone or something)

: to hit (someone) with a whip as punishment

scourge

noun
\ˈskərj \

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

Comments on scourge

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