scurvy

noun
scur·vy | \ ˈskər-vē \

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 \ adverb
scurviness \ˈskər-vē-nəs \ 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

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 To Heidl, the bankers and politicians are the real scoundrels, scurvy in their double-dealing and greed. William Giraldi, Philly.com, "Richard Flanagan's 'First Person': A ghostwriter who fights lies with lies," 6 Apr. 2018 Still, it’s commonly agreed that skipping vegetables for an extended length of time can cause scurvy — or at least a creeping sense of guilt. Elisa Ludwig, Philly.com, "Seasonal salads to get you through the February doldrums," 8 Feb. 2018 As the beer began to run out during the Mayflower voyage of 1620, for example, passengers began to exhibit signs of scurvy. John Perritano, Popular Mechanics, "How the Founding Fathers Made Their Beer," 25 June 2013 Jeff, too, is dragged down that path, transforming from a sweet underachiever (who once had scurvy) to a vengeful husk — and then back again. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Anna Chlumsky and Adam Pally Paint the Town Red in ‘Cardinal’," 30 Jan. 2018 At the least, the air would have been less toxic, and there might have been lower mortality rates from scurvy, dysentery and typhus. A. Roger Ekirch, WSJ, "Hell Afloat in Wallabout Bay," 22 Aug. 2017

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

Noun

scurvy entry 2

Adjective

scurf

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Learn More about scurvy

Dictionary Entries near scurvy

scurry

S curve

scurvish

scurvy

scurvy grass

scuse

scusin

Statistics for scurvy

Last Updated

5 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scurvy

The first known use of scurvy was circa 1565

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More Definitions for scurvy

scurvy

noun

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 \

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 \
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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Comments on scurvy

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