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French scarifier, from Late Latin scarificāre, from Latin scarifāre (to dig), from Ancient Greek σκαριφᾶσθαι (skariphâsthai, scratch), from σκάριφος (skáriphos, writing, drawing, sketching)


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskæ.ɹɪˌfaɪ/, /ˈskɑː.ɹɪˌfaɪ/


scarify (third-person singular simple present scarifies, present participle scarifying, simple past and past participle scarified)

  1. (horticulture) To remove thatch (build-up of organic matter on the soil) from a lawn, to dethatch.
  2. To make scratches or cuts on.
    A combing tool is used to scarify, cross-scratch, or score the surface of a scratch coat or undercoat of plaster.
    1. (horticulture) To damage the testa (seed coat) of a seed by cutting, scraping, chemicals, hot water, or fire to allow permeation of water and faster germination.
    2. To break up, loosen, or roughen the surface of a field or road or a hard surface.
  3. To harrow the feelings.
  4. (obsolete or nonstandard) To scar.
  5. (obsolete or nonstandard) Denude, or lay waste to.