1
: thin dry scales detached from the epidermis especially in an abnormal skin condition
specifically : dandruff
2
a
: something like flakes or scales adhering to a surface
b
: the foul remains of something adherent
3
a
: a scaly deposit or covering on some plant parts
also : a localized or general darkening and roughening of a plant surface usually more pronounced than russeting
b
: a plant disease characterized by scurf
scurfy adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Occasionally, people can have an infestation of a tiny parasitic mite called Demodex louse on their eyelashes, which can leave a flaky substance called scurf and cause serious inflammation, Diaz said. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 Don't confuse this disease with less-serious scurf, which creates small, round, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn't affect eating quality. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 21 May 2020 There is some empirical proof that a big mess can be the sign of a creative mind, and that a swirl of scurf and funk can give birth to history-changing ideas. Penelope Green, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2020 Don't confuse this disease with less-serious scurf, which creates small, round, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn't affect eating quality. Stem rot, or wilt, is a fungus that enters plants injured by insects, careless cultivation, or wind. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, 15 Mar. 2017

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Old English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic skurfa scurf; akin to Old High German scorf scurf, Old English sceorfan to scarify

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of scurf was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near scurf

Cite this Entry

“Scurf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scurf. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition

scurf

noun
: thin dry scales detached from the epidermis especially in an abnormal skin condition
specifically : dandruff
scurfy adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on scurf

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