scrub·by | \ˈskrə-bē \
scrubbier; scrubbiest

Definition of scrubby 

1 : inferior in size or quality : stunted scrubby cattle

2 : covered with or consisting of scrub

3 : shabby, paltry

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

But her presence on this scrubby Baltimore block quickly comes to make sense, and not only because of Willa’s longing for a grandchild. Laura Collins-hughes,, "Waking up is hard to do," 13 July 2018 And there's the scrubby red-dirt tennis court built by Mr. Jimmy's daddy, Earl, a Sunday-school teacher himself, who employed a wicked slice to always beat his son. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 June 2018 Dozens of the tiny creatures scampered back and forth, popping in and out of little holes amid scrubby grasses. Beth J. Harpaz,, "Badlands and history in Theodore Roosevelt National Park," 5 July 2018 The ground-hugging, scrubby bushes have the darkest, smallest, most concentrated fruit, while the high-bush varieties will fill your hat or basket faster. New York Times, "The Best Fruits of Summer, Ranked," 22 May 2018 Wet the microfiber cloth, and wipe away the Scrubbing Bubbles, switching to the scrubby side for especially stubborn patches of buildup, typically on the sides of the tub and around drains. Jolie Kerr, SELF, "How to Clean Your Bathroom In 10 Minutes," 19 Apr. 2018 Photos of the scene showed a highway running through scrubby woods, with no apparent firing position offering a 45 degree angle down on the car's roof. Fox News, "Mexican evidence suggests Marines' fire killed 3 civilians," 7 Apr. 2018 Other students and teachers ran into the scrubby desert countryside. Jonathan Gopep And Dionne Searcey, New York Times, "In Nigeria, Another Mass Kidnapping Stirs Painful Memories and Anger," 25 Feb. 2018 His head whips around to see, beyond an expanse of scrubby high desert fauna, a mammoth freight train churning past into the distance. Rafael Francisco Salas, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The Open Road' a photographic journey through America," 12 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for scrubby

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Time Traveler for scrubby

The first known use of scrubby was in 1591

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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 \
scrubbier; scrubbiest

Kids Definition of scrubby

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

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Comments on scrubby

What made you want to look up scrubby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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