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scouring (plural scourings)

  1. The act of cleaning a surface by rubbing it with a brush, soap and water.
  2. Diarrhea. (Now used only of livestock, though also sometimes used of humans into the 1600s.)
    • 1720, E. R. (Gent.), The Experienc'd Farrier: Or Farring Compleated. Containing Every Thing that Belongs to a Compleat Horseman, page 332:
      Another for a violent scouring. Take the Entrails of a Pullet, or great Chicken, all but the Gizzard, and mix with tbem of Spikenard one Ounce, ' and make him swallow it, and this will infallibly stay his Scouring, yea, though it be a Bloody-Flux.
    • 1766, Thomas Wallis (surgeon), The Farrier's and Horseman's Complete Dictionary: Containing the Art of Farriery in All Its Branches:
      For that kind of lax and scouring called bloody flux, see the article BLOODY FLUX.
    • 1840, London Medical Gazette: Or, Journal of Practical Medicine, page 683:
      Thus in 1670 the London bills ascribe 142 deaths to “bloody flux, scouring, and flux,” and 3,690 to “griping in the guts.”
    • 2011, V. Berridge, M. Gorsky, Environment, Health and History, Springer (→ISBN), page 37:
      Flux, bloody flux and scouring feature from the first, but were overtaken in the 1650s by 'plague in the guts', soon renamed 'griping in the guts'. An apparent decline in bloody flux was more than matched by high levels of 'griping in the guts'.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. present participle of scour
    Scouring the entire area revealed nothing.