(noun, adjective, verb)


1. For or consisting of preliminary or tentative, incomplete, etc. work.

- This is scratch paper, so go ahead and scribble whatever you want on it.

2. Hastily assembled; put together in a hurry or from disparate elements.

3. (computing, from scratchpad) Relating to a data structure or recording medium attached to a machine for testing or temporary use.

4. Constructed from whatever materials are to hand.

5. (sports) (of a player) Of a standard high enough to play without a handicap, i.e. to compete without the benefit of a variation in scoring based on ability.

6. Made, done, or happening by chance; arranged with little or no preparation; determined by circumstances; haphazard.

- a scratch team; a scratch crew for a boat race; a scratch shot in billiards

- a scratch race: one without restrictions regarding the entry of competitors


1. an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off

Similar word(s): abrasion, excoriation, scrape

Definition categories: state, lesion, wound

2. a depression scratched or carved into a surface

Similar word(s): dent, incision, slit

Definition categories: shape, depression, impression, imprint

3. informal terms for money

Similar word(s): boodle, bread, cabbage, clams, dinero, dough, gelt, kale, lettuce, lolly, loot, lucre, moolah, pelf, shekels, simoleons, sugar, wampum

Definition categories: possession, money

4. a competitor who has withdrawn from competition

Definition categories: person, challenger, competition, competitor, contender, rival

5. a line indicating the location of the start of a race or a game

Similar word(s): start

Definition categories: location, line

6. dry mash for poultry

Definition categories: food, mash

7. a harsh noise made by scraping

- the scrape of violin bows distracted her

Similar word(s): scrape, scraping, scratching

Definition categories: event, noise

8. poor handwriting

Similar word(s): cacography, scrawl, scribble

Definition categories: communication, hand, handwriting, script

9. (golf) a handicap of zero strokes

- a golfer who plays at scratch should be able to achieve par on a course

Definition categories: attribute, handicap

10. an indication of damage

Similar word(s): mark, scar, scrape

Definition categories: attribute, blemish, defect, mar

Sentences with scratch as a noun:

- I can’t believe there is a scratch in the paint already.

- Her skin was covered with tiny scratches.

- The dog sat up and had a good scratch.


1. cause friction

- my sweater scratches

Similar word(s): chafe, fray, fret, rub

Definition categories: contact, adjoin, meet, touch

2. cut the surface of; wear away the surface of

Similar word(s): scrape

Definition categories: contact, incise

3. scrape or rub as if to relieve itching

- Don't scratch your insect bites!

Similar word(s): itch, rub

Definition categories: perception, irritate

4. postpone indefinitely or annul something that was scheduled

- we had to scrub our vacation plans

- scratch that meeting--the chair is ill

Similar word(s): cancel, scrub

Definition categories: social

5. remove by erasing or crossing out or as if by drawing a line

- scratch that remark

Similar word(s): excise, expunge, strike

Definition categories: contact, cancel, delete

6. gather (money or other resources) together over time

- She had scraped together enough money for college

- they scratched a meager living

Similar word(s): scrape

Definition categories: contact, accumulate, amass, collect, compile, hoard

7. carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface

- the lovers scratched their names into the bark of the tree

Similar word(s): engrave, grave, inscribe

Definition categories: contact, carve

Sentences with scratch as a verb:

- Could you please scratch my back?

- I don't like that new scarf because it scratches my neck.

- A real diamond can easily scratch a pane of glass.

- Scratch what I said earlier; I was wrong.

- When the favorite was scratched from the race, there was a riot at the betting windows.

- Embarrassingly, he scratched on the break, popping the cue completely off the table.

- Some animals scratch holes, in which they burrow.