- scratch ► VERB 1) make a long mark or wound on (a surface) with something sharp or pointed. 2) rub (a part of one's body) with one's fingernails to relieve itching. 3) (of a bird or mammal) rake the ground with the beak or claws in search of food. 4) cancel or strike out (writing). 5) withdraw from a competition. 6) cancel or abandon (an undertaking or project). 7) (scratch around/along) make a living or find resources with difficulty. 8) (scratching) the technique, used in rap music, of stopping a record by hand and moving it back and forwards to give a rhythmic scratching effect.► NOUN 1) a mark or wound made by scratching. 2) an act or spell of scratching. 3) informal a slight or insignificant wound or injury.► ADJECTIVE ▪ assembled or made from whatever is available.● from scratch — Cf. ↑from scratch● scratch the surface — Cf. ↑scratch the surface● up to scratch — Cf. ↑up to scratch● you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours — Cf. ↑you scratch my back and I'll scratch yoursDERIVATIVES scratcher noun.ORIGIN probably a blend of the synonymous dialect words scrat and cratch, of uncertain origin.
English terms dictionary. 2015.