From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search





scratch +‎ -y





scratchy (comparative scratchier, superlative scratchiest)

  1. Characterized by scratches.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part I, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      An indulgent playmate, Grannie would lay aside the long scratchy-looking letter she was writing (heavily crossed ‘to save notepaper’) and enter into the delightful pastime of ‘a chicken from Mr Whiteley's’.
  2. (chiefly of a sore throat) Irritating; itchy.
  3. (informal, of an analogue radio transmission) Noisy, lossy; marred by white noise or static as a result of poor or low signal, interference or unfavourable atmospheric conditions.
    The FM station two hundred miles away was receivable, but the audio was too scratchy to positively identify.
  4. (of a phonograph record) Having popping and/or crackling sounds due to excessive wear, especially from scratch marks.
    • 1991, Stephen King, Needful Things:
      Once he almost fell asleep, and then the little record player started up in his mother and father's bedroom. Mom was playing her scratchy Elvis 45s again.
  5. (informal) Irritable; tetchy.
    • 1978, Attilio Veraldi, The Payoff, page 105:
      'Now, now, don't get scratchy,' said Casali. 'You've got enough troubles of your own. []


  • (irritable): Tony Thorne (2014) “scratchy”, in Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, 4th edition, London,  []: Bloomsbury