Dictionary > Scratch


1. A break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with anything pointed or rough; a slight wound, mark, furrow, or incision. The coarse file . . . Makes deep scratches in the work. (Moxon) These nails with scratches deform my breast. (prior) God forbid a shallow scratch should drive The prince of wales from such a field as this. (Shak)
2. A line across the prize ring; up to which boxers are brought when they join fight; hence, test, trial, or proof of courage; as, to bring to the scratch; to come up to the scratch.
3. (Science: veterinary) minute, but tender and troublesome, excoriations, covered with scabs, upon the heels of horses which have been used where it is very wet or muddy.
4. A kind of wig covering only a portion of the head.
5. A shot which scores by chance and not as intended by the player; a fluke. Scratch cradle. See Cratch cradle, under Cratch.
(Science: botany) Scratch grass, a climbing knotweed (polygonum sagittatum) with a square stem beset with fine recurved prickles along the angles. Scratch wig. Same as Scratch, 4, above.

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