scour

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English scouren, from Middle Dutch scuren, schuren(to polish, to clean) (compare Middle Low German schǖren, Middle High German schüren, schiuren (German scheuern), Danish skure, Swedish skura), of uncertain origin. Probably from Old French escurer, from Medieval Latin scuro, escuro, excuro(clean off), from Latin ex(thoroughly) + curo(take care of).

Verb[edit]

scour ‎(third-person singular simple present scours, present participle scouring, simple past and past participle scoured)

  1. To clean, polish, or wash something by scrubbing it vigorously.
    He scoured the burner pans to remove the burnt spills.
  2. To remove by rubbing or cleansing; to sweep along or off.
    He scoured the burnt food from the pan.
    • Shakespeare
      [I will] stain my favors in a bloody mask, / Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it.
  3. To search an area thoroughly.
    They scoured the scene of the crime for clues.
  4. (intransitive, veterinary medicine) Of livestock, to suffer from diarrhea.
    If a lamb is scouring, do not delay treatment.
  5. (transitive, veterinary medicine) To purge.
    to scour a horse
  6. (obsolete) To cleanse.
    • Francis Bacon
      Warm water is softer than cold, for it scoureth better.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

scour ‎(countable and uncountable, plural scours)

  1. The removal of sediment caused by swiftly moving water.
    Bridge scour may scoop out scour holes and compromise the integrity of the bridge.
  2. A place scoured out by running water, as in the bed of a stream below a fall.
    • Grant Allen
      If you catch the two sole denizens [trout] of a particular scour, you will find another pair installed in their place to-morrow.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English scouren, scoren, schouren, from Old Norse skýra(to rush in) and Old Norse skúr(a shower; a shower of missiles).

Verb[edit]

scour ‎(third-person singular simple present scours, present participle scouring, simple past and past participle scoured)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To run with speed; scurry; move swiftly over; to brush along.
    • Alexander Pope
      when swift Camilla scours the plain
    • Dryden
      So four fierce coursers, starting to the race, / Scour through the plain, and lengthen every pace.