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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scar, scarre, a conflation of Old French escare (scab) (from Late Latin eschara, from Ancient Greek ἐσχάρα (eskhára, scab left from a burn), and thus a doublet of eschar) and Middle English skar (incision, cut, fissure) (from Old Norse skarð (notch, chink, gap), from Proto-Germanic *skardaz (gap, cut, fragment)). Akin to Old Norse skor (notch, score), Old English sċeard (gap, cut, notch). More at shard.

Displaced native Old English dolgswæþ.


scar (plural scars)

  1. A permanent mark on the skin, sometimes caused by the healing of a wound.
  2. (by extension) A permanent negative effect on someone's mind, caused by a traumatic experience.
    • 2011, O. P. Sharma, Be a Winner, →ISBN:
      Thus, it is wise to avoid cultivating an emotional scar, as it can play havoc with your happiness and success.
  3. Any permanent mark resulting from damage.
    • 1961, Dorothy Jensen Neal, Captive mountain waters: a story of pipelines and people, page 29:
      Her age-old weapons, flood and fire, left scars on the canyon which time will never efface.
    • 1965 June 4, Johnson, Lyndon B., Howard University Commencement Address[1]:
      But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.
      You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.
      Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.
    • 2022 March 23, Paul Bigland, “HS2 is just 'passing through'”, in RAIL, number 953, page 44:
      There is a real scar on the landscape, but it reminds me exactly of scenes I photographed from the construction of High Speed 1 in Kent and Essex, and of the Norton Bridge flyover in Staffordshire. Scars heal, and the replanting and rewilding that Penny had shown me at Cubbington display the early stages.
Derived terms[edit]


scar (third-person singular simple present scars, present participle scarring, simple past and past participle scarred)

  1. (transitive) To mark the skin permanently.
  2. (intransitive) To form a scar.
    • 1939 September, D. S. Barrie, “The Railways of South Wales”, in Railway Magazine, page 157:
      Iron and coal were the magnets that drew railways to this land of lovely valleys and silent mountains—for such it was a century-and-a-half ago, before man blackened the valleys with the smoke of his forges, scarred the green hills with his shafts and waste-heaps, and drove the salmon from the quiet Rhondda and the murmuring Taff.
    • 2002, Zadie Smith, The Autograph Man, Penguin Books (2003), page 161:
      And black skin scars badly. Whatʼs left behind stays pink and angry, always.
  3. (transitive, figurative) To affect deeply in a traumatic manner.
    Seeing his parents die in a car crash scarred him for life.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English scarre, skarr, skerre, sker, a borrowing from Old Norse sker (an isolated rock in the sea; skerry). Cognate with Icelandic sker, Norwegian skjær, Swedish skär, Danish skær, German Schäre. Doublet of skerry.


scar (plural scars)

  1. A cliff or rock outcrop.
    • 1847, Tennyson, “The Bugle Song”, in The Princess:
      O hark, O hear! how thin and clear, / ⁠And thinner, clearer, farther going! / O sweet and far from cliff and scar / ⁠The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
    • 1954, William Golding, chapter 1, in Lord of the Flies, Penguin:
      All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. He was clambering heavily among the creepers and broken trunks when a bird, a vision of red and yellow, flashed upwards with a witch-like cry; and this cry was echoed by another. “Hi!” it said. “Wait a minute!” The undergrowth at the side of the scar was shaken and a multitude of raindrops fell pattering.
  2. A rock in the sea breaking out from the surface of the water.
  3. A bare rocky place on the side of a hill or mountain.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Latin scarus (a kind of fish), from Ancient Greek σκάρος (skáros, parrot wrasse, Sparisoma cretense, syn. Scarus cretensis).


scar (plural scars)

  1. A marine food fish, the scarus or parrotfish (family Scaridae).





From Old Irish scaraid,[1] from Proto-Celtic *skarati, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker-.



scar (present analytic scarann, future analytic scarfaidh, verbal noun scaradh, past participle scartha)

  1. (transitive) sever
  2. (transitive) separate
    Synonyms: dealaigh, deighil
    • 1939, Peig Sayers, “Inghean an Cheannaidhe”, in Marie-Louise Sjoestedt, Description d’un parler irlandais de Kerry (Bibliothèque de l'École des Hautes Études; 270) (overall work in French), Paris: Librairie Honoré Champion, page 194:
      Do bhí brón mór air a bheith ag scaramhaint le n-a chailín ach ni raibh leigheas air, chaithfeadh sé imtheacht.
      He was very sorry to be separating from his girl, but it couldn’t be helped, he had to go.
  3. (transitive) tear asunder


Derived terms[edit]

  • soscartha (easily separated; isolable, adjective)


  1. ^ G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “scaraid”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

Further reading[edit]

  • Dinneen, Patrick S. (1904), “scaraim”, in Foclóir Gaeḋilge agus Béarla, 1st edition, Dublin: Irish Texts Society, page 602
  • Ó Dónaill, Niall (1977), “scar”, in Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla, Dublin: An Gúm, →ISBN
  • Entries containing “scar” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.
  • scar”, in Historical Irish Corpus, 1600–1926, Royal Irish Academy

Old Irish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]




  1. third-person singular preterite conjunct of scaraid