scrabble

verb
scrab·ble | \ˈskra-bəl \
scrabbled; scrabbling\ˈskra-b(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of scrabble 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

2 : to scratch, claw, or grope about clumsily or frantically

3a : scramble, clamber

b : to struggle by or as if by scraping or scratching scrabble for survival

scrabble

noun

Definition of scrabble (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : scramble

2 : scribble

3 : a repeated scratching or clawing

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Other Words from scrabble

Verb

scrabbler \ˈskra-b(ə-)lər \ noun

Synonyms for scrabble

Synonyms: Verb

feel, fish, fumble, grope

Synonyms: Noun

battle, fight, fray, struggle, throes

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Examples of scrabble in a Sentence

Verb

She scrabbled around in her handbag for a pen. He scrabbled at the slippery rock.

Noun

it'll be a long scrabble to pull ourselves out of poverty
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Homer and Marge would be somewhere in their 60s, probably still scrabbling to make ends meet. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Simpsons is stuck in an eternal 1990. Its Apu controversy reflects that.," 15 Apr. 2018 Ruthie, separated from her husband, is scrabbling to keep her toehold in the middle class after being forced out of her job at a local museum by a conniving board member. New York Times, "4 Writers to Watch This Summer," 17 May 2018 Nollsch recalled how the sound of someone scaling the fence was followed by what sounded like a person falling into bushes, then scrabbling to get out, according to sheriff's documents. Marjie Lundstrom And Sam Stanton, sacbee, "Rapes and burglaries had occurred. But this was the first time the East Area Rapist killed | The Sacramento Bee," 14 May 2018 But there are many other reasons—including the race to pump undersea oil and to establish new military outposts—that have nations with Arctic coasts scrabbling, like aggressive crabs, to establish territorial rights. The Editors, Scientific American, "Without a Treaty to Share the Arctic, Greedy Countries Will Destroy It," 1 Dec. 2017 This was enough for Harry Redknapp to roll down the window and scrabble around in his car’s filthy ashtray for some loose change. SI.com, "Pascal Chimbonda & 24 Other Classic Premier League Players You’d Forgotten: No. 5 - Nigel Reo-Coker," 26 Apr. 2018 Philip Howard Sauer and four fellow Marines began to scrabble toward the crest of Hill 861. Carl Prine, sandiegouniontribune.com, "His valor forgotten for a half-century, Marine killed in action to receive battlefield award," 23 Apr. 2018 The series’ first season scrabbled around looking for a point for too long, before zeroing in on some ideas about the nature of consciousness. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Westworld season 2 takes cues from The Walking Dead — and it kinda, sorta works," 18 Apr. 2018 Six robots at a time would square off in the arena, scrabbling at yellow milk crates and trying to lift them onto a 6-foot teeter totter. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Bot Battle Royale: Robotics Teams Square Off At Hartford Public," 8 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here is the scrabble of historical experience before history has laid down its narrative paths. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Walter Kempowski’s Epic Novel of Germany in Collapse," 21 Mar. 2016 Then there was the scrabble of a key at a lock, and the other door, the one facing him, that led to the free world, opened. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A prisoner is given a deal he can’t refuse in an excerpt from S.J. Morden’s sci-fi novel One Way," 25 Mar. 2018 Mémère loved family gatherings and was ready anytime for a game of scrabble, cards, the challenge of a good puzzle or a computer game. courant.com, "Rita R. Dulude," 5 Mar. 2018 Spoelstra masks this small flaw by getting his group to outwork teams in scrabbles for loose balls. Karl Bullock, SI.com, "The Case for Coach of the Year: Erik Spoelstra," 1 Feb. 2018 Each photo is a miniature stage play: a boy wraps himself in a rope, like a noose or a bandolier; girls in finery scrabble for candy; refugee children solemnly display their toys. David Campany, The New Yorker, "Mark Neville’s Immersive Photo Experiment," 22 May 2017 Scrabble for adults Mondays 6 p.m., John Marshall Library, 4133 Rectortown Rd. Washington Post, "Community events in Fauquier County," 30 May 2017 The recurrent motif is Scrabble: the Commander enlists Offred in a secret game. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "A Cunning Adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale”," 22 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scrabble.' 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 scrabble

Verb

1537, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scrabble

Verb

Dutch schrabbelen to scratch

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Dictionary Entries near scrabble

scr

SCR

scrab

scrabble

scrabbly

scrabe

scrae

Statistics for scrabble

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Time Traveler for scrabble

The first known use of scrabble was in 1537

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More Definitions for scrabble

scrabble

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scrabble

: to move the hands or feet in an awkward and hurried way in order to find or do something

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Comments on scrabble

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