\ ˈskra-chē How to pronounce scratchy (audio) \
scratchier; scratchiest

Definition of scratchy

1 : marked or made with scratches scratchy drawing scratchy handwriting
2 : likely to scratch : prickly scratchy undergrowth
3 : making a scratching noise
4 : uneven in quality : ragged
5 : causing tingling or itching : irritating scratchy wool
6 : somewhat inflamed and sore a scratchy throat

Other Words from scratchy

scratchily \ ˈskra-​chə-​lē How to pronounce scratchy (audio) \ adverb
scratchiness \ ˈskra-​chē-​nəs How to pronounce scratchy (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for scratchy


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Examples of scratchy in a Sentence

listening to scratchy old records The costume is made from scratchy material. He is sick with a scratchy throat.
Recent Examples on the Web The governor’s office said Cox first started having a scratchy throat Wednesday evening. Jeff Parrott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 May 2022 And so if this show at least helps grease any of those scratchy hard feelings that people have about otherness, then that’s just one more step [forward]. ELLE, 26 Mar. 2022 If a sore or scratchy throat means fresh fruits won't go down easily, try them blended in a smoothie. Sarah Garone,, 7 Mar. 2022 Weeks after testing positive, Chen still feels the effects of the virus, unable to shake a cough, a scratchy throat and periodic bouts of sweating. Deepa Fernandes, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Jan. 2022 South Africa’s largest health insurer listed nasal congestion, sore or scratchy throat, dry cough and lower back pain as common Omicron symptoms. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 11 Jan. 2022 In Downtown Brooklyn, Wanda Ortiz, who has had a fever, body aches and a scratchy throat since Christmas, summoned the strength to head over to the CityMD on Atlantic Avenue Wednesday morning to get tested. Andy Newman, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2021 Some sections were noisy, like wind, and others like an old scratchy record that was dominated by the sound of snapping shrimp. ABC News, 23 Jan. 2022 Sore throats, on the other hand, have become more common, with some doctors saying that a sore or scratchy throat can be the first sign of an Omicron infection. Emma Yasinski, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of scratchy

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of scratchy was in 1827

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scratchy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for scratchy


\ ˈskra-chē How to pronounce scratchy (audio) \
scratchier; scratchiest

Kids Definition of scratchy

1 : likely to injure with something sharp a scratchy rosebush
2 : causing irritation a scratchy wool sweater
3 : coarse sense 1 I shook his scratchy hand.
4 : somewhat sore a scratchy throat

More from Merriam-Webster on scratchy

Nglish: Translation of scratchy for Spanish Speakers


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