scathe

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scath, scathe [and other forms],[1] from Old Norse skaði (damage, harm; loss; death; murder), from Proto-Germanic *skaþô (damage, scathe; one who causes damage, injurer, noun) (whence Old English sceaþa, sceaþu (scathe, harm, injury)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keh₁t- (damage, harm).[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /skeɪð/, /skeɪθ/
  • (file)
    (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪð, -eɪθ

Noun[edit]

scathe (countable and uncountable, plural scathes) (archaic or Britain, dialectal)

  1. (countable, uncountable) Damage, harm, hurt, injury.
  2. (countable) Someone who, or something which, causes harm; an injurer.
    Synonym: (very rare) harmer
  3. (countable, Scotland, law, obsolete) An injury or loss for which compensation is sought in a lawsuit; damage; also, expenses incurred by a claimant; costs.
  4. (uncountable) Something to be mourned or regretted.
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • scathel (Britain, dialectal or obsolete)
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English scathen, skathen (to harm; to cause loss; to assail, attack; to make war on; to defeat) [and other forms],[3] from Old Norse skaða (to damage, harm; to hurt, injure), from Proto-Germanic *skaþōną (to damage, harm; to injure) (whence Old English sceaþian, scaþan (to harm, hurt, injure, scathe)), from *skaþô (damage, scathe; one who causes damage, injurer, noun); see further at etymology 1.[4]

Sense 2 (“to harm, injure, or destroy (someone or something) by fire, lightning, or some other heat source”) appears to derive from Paradise Lost by the English poet John Milton (1608–1674), perhaps influenced by scorch:[4] see the 1667 quotation.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

scathe (third-person singular simple present scathes, present participle scathing, simple past and past participle scathed) (transitive)

  1. (archaic or Scotland) To harm or injure (someone or something) physically.
    1. (specifically, obsolete) To cause monetary loss to (someone).
      • 1602, [Thomas Heywood], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie, wherein is Shewed How a Man may Chuse a Good Wife from a Bad. [], London: [] [Thomas Creede] for Mathew Lawe, [], OCLC 1203352088; reprinted as How a Man may Choose a Good Wife from a Bad (Old English Drama Students Facsimile; 50), [London: s.n.], 1912, OCLC 1181342714, signature C, recto:
        VVell goe too vvild oates, ſpend thrift, prodigall, / Ile croſſe thy name quite from my reckoning booke: / For theſe accounts, faith it ſhall skathe thee ſomevvhat, / I vvill not ſay vvhat ſomevvhat it ſhall be.
  2. (by extension, chiefly literary and poetic) To harm, injure, or destroy (someone or something) by fire, lightning, or some other heat source; to blast; to scorch; to wither.
  3. (figuratively) To severely hurt (someone's feelings, soul, etc., or something intangible) through acts, words spoken, etc.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ scā̆th(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “scathe, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “scathe, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ scāthen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Compare “scathe, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2022; “scathe, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

scathe

  1. Unfortunate, a pity, a shame.
    • 14th c. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales. General Prologue: 445-6.
      A good wif was ther of biside Bathe, / But she was somdel deef, and that was scathe.
      There was a good woman from near Bath, / but she was somewhat deaf, and that was a pity.