scurvy

noun
scur·​vy | \ ˈskər-vē How to pronounce scurvy (audio) \

Definition of scurvy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and characterized by spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, and a bleeding into the skin and mucous membranes

scurvy

adjective

Definition of scurvy (Entry 2 of 2)

: arousing disgust or scorn : contemptible, despicable a scurvy trick

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Other Words from scurvy

Adjective

scurvily \ ˈskər-​və-​lē How to pronounce scurvily (audio) \ adverb
scurviness \ ˈskər-​vē-​nəs How to pronounce scurviness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scurvy

Adjective

contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy mean arousing or deserving scorn. contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values. a contemptible liar despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation. a despicable crime pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity. a pitiable attempt at tragedy sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness. this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust. a scurvy crew of hangers-on

Examples of scurvy in a Sentence

Adjective after winning the lottery, she was beset by a whole scurvy swarm of con artists, ne'er-do-wells, and hangers-on
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the crew forged across the Pacific Ocean, food spoiled and scurvy and starvation struck. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Magellan was first to sail around the world, right? Think again.," 19 Sep. 2019 Because looking for a black or tan knife on the ground can be as much fun as a case of scurvy. Matt Foster, Outdoor Life, "The Best Knives of SHOT Show 2020," 31 Jan. 2020 Similar products followed, but most people used homemade recipes with affordable ingredients such as canned milk and Karo syrup, and supplemented babies’ diets with orange juice and cod-liver oil to prevent scurvy and rickets. Alice Callahan, Smithsonian, "In Pursuit of a Better Baby Formula," 25 Oct. 2019 Looking at the jaw, the team saw very strong signs that Louis suffered from a bad case of scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet that attacks the gums and bones. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Fear of Foreign Food May Have Led to the Death of This Crusader King," 26 June 2019 The researchers say that contemporary accounts of Louis’s demise recount the king spitting out bits of gum and teeth, consistent with what was found in the mandible and signs of late-stage scurvy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Fear of Foreign Food May Have Led to the Death of This Crusader King," 26 June 2019 Battered by storms and racing to find their way back to Siberia after sighting Alaska, the scurvy-ridden crewmen were dying in their bunks while the ship's commander, Vitus Bering, barely clung to life himself. Anchorage Daily News, "In ‘Island of the Blue Foxes,’ the fraught, unruly mission that led to Russia’s discovery of Alaska," 17 Mar. 2018 The bad guys are all those scurvy, nature-tampering humans. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' is the latest and arguably least of the series," 22 June 2018 In the Russian camps, people got sick with scurvy, from a lack of vitamins. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "The Boarder," 30 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Smallpox was six to seven times more prevalent among black soldiers than white, scurvy was five times higher, while lung inflammation and bronchial diseases were two to five times higher. Ilene Raymond Rush, Philly.com, "Mutter exhibit recalls how the sacrifices of black Civil War troops advanced medicine," 22 Mar. 2018 Hippocrates reportedly prescribed it to treat blood disease around 400 BCE, and Captain Cook and his crew consumed it to combat scurvy during long voyages. Kate Dwyer, Bon Appetit, "Your Cheat Sheet For Buying and Eating Every Common Green," 18 Apr. 2017 Though vitamin C wouldn’t be discovered until the 20th century, naval doctors only knew that daily rations of lemon or lime juice helped to curb scurvy symptoms. Kevin Hopper, idahostatesman, "Gimlet a cure-all for both scurvy and summer heat," 13 June 2017 Hippocrates reportedly prescribed it to treat blood disease around 400 BCE, and Captain Cook and his crew consumed it to combat scurvy during long voyages. Kate Dwyer, Bon Appetit, "Your Cheat Sheet For Buying and Eating Every Common Green," 18 Apr. 2017

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

Noun

circa 1565, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1579, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scurvy

Adjective and Noun

scurf

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Time Traveler for scurvy

Time Traveler

The first known use of scurvy was circa 1565

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Statistics for scurvy

Cite this Entry

“Scurvy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scurvy. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for scurvy

scurvy

noun
How to pronounce scurvy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scurvy

: a disease that is caused by not eating enough fruits or vegetables that contain vitamin C

scurvy

noun
scur·​vy | \ ˈskər-vē How to pronounce scurvy (audio) \

Kids Definition of scurvy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C in which the teeth loosen, the gums soften, and there is bleeding under the skin

scurvy

adjective
scurvier; scurviest

Kids Definition of scurvy (Entry 2 of 2)

scurvy

noun
scur·​vy | \ ˈskər-vē How to pronounce scurvy (audio) \
plural scurvies

Medical Definition of scurvy

: a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and characterized by spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, and bleeding into the skin and mucous membranes

called also scorbutus

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More from Merriam-Webster on scurvy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scurvy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scurvy

Spanish Central: Translation of scurvy

Nglish: Translation of scurvy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about scurvy

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