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 scurvy (audio) \ adverb
scurviness \ ˈskər-​vē-​nəs How to pronounce scurvy (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 The crew experienced bloody battles with bears, the stench of scurvy, and the dispiriting blackness of the polar winter and their struggle with hunger as supplies dwindled. Richard Schiffman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Dutch explorers courted disaster in efforts to find a Northwest Passage," 8 Jan. 2021 My approach is bare-bones: Bring enough to last roughly four days, patronize the occasional drive-thru, contract scurvy. Sandra Upson, Wired, "A Guide to Safely Holiday Road-Tripping Through a Pandemic," 31 Oct. 2020 Once treated, there is usually no permanent damage due to scurvy, except in the case of severe dental disease. Leah Groth, Health.com, "James Blunt Says He Got Scurvy After Eating an All-Meat Diet—But What Is That, Exactly?," 20 Aug. 2020 Researchers found no signs of rickets, scurvy or anemia—diseases caused by nutrient deficiencies that can warp the skeleton. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Did the Norman Conquest Change English Cuisine?," 8 July 2020 Problem is, China has stockpiled all the nutrients, and the U.S., highly deficient, has the equivalent of scurvy. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "A new Wheat Ridge plant will process rare earths, which aren’t so rare but are critical for iPhones and electric cars," 12 Jan. 2020 Possibly for this reason, skeletal signs of diseases like scurvy and rickets were rare in people from early medieval Oxford, both before and after 1066. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The Norman Conquest didn’t change ordinary people’s lives very much," 6 July 2020 Versions of it were savoured by ancient Romans and Seljuk sultans alike; Joan of Arc ate one for courage before battles; sailors stockpiled it to combat scurvy. The Economist, "Home Entertainment Jam embodies resilience—and dogged optimism," 13 June 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Without it, scurvy develops, and hair, gums, skin, muscles and bones all start to unravel. John J. Ross, WSJ, "‘Bones’ Review: Getting Down to the Marrow," 30 Oct. 2020 For polar explorers, the most common malady wasn’t scurvy or starvation. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "Even as they desperately fled death, Arctic explorers carried books. This new volume examines what they were reading.," 26 Sep. 2020 The earliest signs of scurvy include weakness, fatigue, and aching limbs, per the GARD—but after about three months of vitamin C deficiency, more serious symptoms like anemia, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages can crop up. Leah Groth, Health.com, "James Blunt Says He Got Scurvy After Eating an All-Meat Diet—But What Is That, Exactly?," 20 Aug. 2020 Listen to the full interview below (scurvy segment begins around the 8:30-mark). Rachel Yang, EW.com, "James Blunt got scurvy after only eating meat to prove his masculinity," 20 Aug. 2020 Left untreated, scurvy, the vitamin C deficiency that plagued sailors for centuries, can eventually cause osteoporosis in some places and unusual bone growth in others. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The Norman Conquest didn’t change ordinary people’s lives very much," 6 July 2020 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

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

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scurvy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scurvy. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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