scrub·​by | \ ˈskrə-bē How to pronounce scrubby (audio) \
scrubbier; scrubbiest

Definition of scrubby

1 : inferior in size or quality : stunted scrubby cattle
2 : covered with or consisting of scrub
3 : shabby, paltry

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Examples of scrubby in a Sentence

changed into an old flannel shirt and a scrubby pair of jeans to clean out the garage
Recent Examples on the Web The scrubby, hostile terrain where California and Arizona approach Mexico is mined with rattlesnakes and scorpions, drug-cartel activity, and weather that is inhospitable to human life. The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2021 Le Grand Coastal Trail winds through scrubby heath and rocky bluffs, visiting Hellfire Bay (where granite boulders, clear blue water, and an arcing beach form fantastic scenery) and Lucky Bay (the site of some of the world's whitest sand). Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 12 Apr. 2021 Their three-bedroom brick ranch sits in the sort of landscaped Denver neighborhood whose trees look scrubby under the enormous skies of the Great Plains. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2021 The single-track mountain-bike trail drops through a scrubby high-desert landscape of gnarled trees and thorny bushes and directly into a tunnel formed of spiky cactus. Jason H. Harper, Robb Report, 14 Mar. 2021 Check under evergreen boughs or in scrubby vegetation, where a buck may have dropped an antler. Jason Tome, Outdoor Life, 17 Feb. 2021 As fighting raged across the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia last month, a group of soldiers arrived one day at Hitsats, a small hamlet ringed by scrubby hills that was home to a sprawling refugee camp of 25,000 people. New York Times, 18 Dec. 2020 Alpine species are also losing out as scrubby trees and vegetation colonize higher mountain slopes, shrinking the range of mountain grassland specialists such as wall creepers and water pipits. Phoebe Weston, Wired, 12 Dec. 2020 On Thursday morning, a handful of clergy members and Los Angeles County officials gathered on a scrubby grass hill in a Boyle Heights cemetery to memorialize the county’s unclaimed dead. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, 3 Dec. 2020

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

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scrubby

scrub entry 1

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Time Traveler for scrubby

Time Traveler

The first known use of scrubby was in 1591

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Statistics for scrubby

Last Updated

23 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scrubby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for scrubby



English Language Learners Definition of scrubby

: covered with small bushes and trees
: small and not growing well


scrub·​by | \ ˈskrə-bē How to pronounce scrubby (audio) \
scrubbier; scrubbiest

Kids Definition of scrubby

: covered with a thick growth of small or stunted shrubs or trees scrubby land

More from Merriam-Webster on scrubby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrubby

Nglish: Translation of scrubby for Spanish Speakers


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