1. To rub hard with something rough, as sand or Bristol brick, especially for the purpose of cleaning; to clean by friction; to make clean or bright; to cleanse from grease, dirt, etc, as articles of dress.
2. To purge; as, to scour a horse.
3. To remove by rubbing or cleansing; to sweep along or off; to carry away or remove, as by a current of water; often with off or away. will stain my favors in a bloody mask, Which, washed away, shall scour my shame with it. (Shak)
4. a different word; cf. OF. Escorre, escourre, It. Scorrere, both fr. L. Excurrere to run forth. Cf. Excursion To pass swiftly over; to brush along; to traverse or search thoroughly; as, to scour the coast. Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain. (pope) Scouring barrel, a tumbling barrel. See Tumbling.
(Science: chemistry) Scouring cinder, a basic slag, which attacks the lining of a shaft furnace. Scouring rush.
(Science: botany) A kind of fulling mill.
Origin: Akin to LG. Schuren, D. Schuren, schueren, G. Scheuern, Dan. Skure; Sw. Skura; all possibly fr. LL. Escurare, fr. L. Ex – curare to take care. Cf. Cure.