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

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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

At a time when the art world was swept up by early attempts at video and graffiti art, Mr. Ross preferred rendering mountain scenes brimming with wispy clouds, shimmering pools and scrubby trees. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "A Renaissance for Bob Ross: Fans Want the ‘Joy of Painting’ Host to Have a Spot in Art History," 21 Aug. 2018 Not more than 200 yards from the soccer fields, the short forest opens up, and the scrubby ground is replaced by massive slabs of concrete. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 From Niger and Morocco to Peru, Chile, and the scrubby plains of Scottsdale, Arizona and Hidden Valley, Utah, the properties manifest an endearingly austere approach to luxury. Marley Marius, Vogue, "8 of the Most Swoon-Worthy Interior Design Books Arriving This Fall," 22 Aug. 2018 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

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

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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More from Merriam-Webster on scrubby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scrubby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scrubby

Spanish Central: Translation of scrubby

Nglish: Translation of scrubby for Spanish Speakers

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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