(redirected from scarifications)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

scar·i·fy 1

tr.v. scar·i·fied, scar·i·fy·ing, scar·i·fies
a. To make shallow cuts in (the skin), as when vaccinating.
b. To create a design on (the skin) by means of shallow cuts that are sometimes rubbed with a colorant or irritant to enhance the resulting scar tissue.
2. To break up the surface of (topsoil or pavement).
3. To distress deeply, as with severe criticism; lacerate.
4. Botany To slit or soften the outer coat of (seeds) in order to speed germination.

[Middle English scarifien, from Old French scarifier, from Late Latin scarīficāre, alteration of Latin scarīfāre, from Greek skarīphāsthai, to sketch, scratch, from skarīphos, pencil, stylus; see skrībh- in Indo-European roots.]

scar′i·fi·ca′tion (-fĭ-kā′shən) n.
scar′i·fi′er n.

scar·i·fy 2

tr.v. scar·i·fied, scar·i·fy·ing, scar·i·fies
To scare.


(ˈskɛərɪˌfaɪ; ˈskærɪ-)
vb (tr) , -fies, -fying or -fied
1. (Surgery) surgery to make tiny punctures or superficial incisions in (the skin or other tissue), as for inoculating
2. (Agriculture) agriculture
a. to break up and loosen (soil) to a shallow depth
b. to scratch or abrade the outer surface of (seeds) to increase water absorption or hasten germination
3. to wound with harsh criticism
[C15: via Old French from Latin scarīfāre to scratch open, from Greek skariphasthai to draw, from skariphos a pencil]
ˌscarifiˈcation n
ˈscariˌfier n


vb, -fies, -fying or -fied
(tr) informal to make scared; frighten
[C18: from scare + -ify]
ˈscariˌfyingly adv
Usage: Scarify is sometimes wrongly thought to mean the same as scare: a frightening (not scarifying) film


(ˈskær əˌfaɪ)

v.t. -fied, -fy•ing.
1. to make scratches or superficial incisions in, as in vaccination.
2. to wound with severe criticism.
3. to hasten the sprouting of (hard-covered seeds) by making incisions in the seed coats.
4. to loosen and break up the surface of (soil or pavement).
[1400–50; < Middle French scarifier < Late Latin scarīficāre, alter. of Latin scarīfāre, scarīphāre < Greek skarīphâsthai to sketch, derivative of skárīphos stylus]
scar`i•fi•ca′tion, n.
scar′i•fi`er, n.


- From Greek skariphasthai, "to scratch an outline," it now means "to break up the surface of."
See also related terms for outline.


Past participle: scarified
Gerund: scarifying

I scarify
you scarify
he/she/it scarifies
we scarify
you scarify
they scarify
I scarified
you scarified
he/she/it scarified
we scarified
you scarified
they scarified
Present Continuous
I am scarifying
you are scarifying
he/she/it is scarifying
we are scarifying
you are scarifying
they are scarifying
Present Perfect
I have scarified
you have scarified
he/she/it has scarified
we have scarified
you have scarified
they have scarified
Past Continuous
I was scarifying
you were scarifying
he/she/it was scarifying
we were scarifying
you were scarifying
they were scarifying
Past Perfect
I had scarified
you had scarified
he/she/it had scarified
we had scarified
you had scarified
they had scarified
I will scarify
you will scarify
he/she/it will scarify
we will scarify
you will scarify
they will scarify
Future Perfect
I will have scarified
you will have scarified
he/she/it will have scarified
we will have scarified
you will have scarified
they will have scarified
Future Continuous
I will be scarifying
you will be scarifying
he/she/it will be scarifying
we will be scarifying
you will be scarifying
they will be scarifying
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been scarifying
you have been scarifying
he/she/it has been scarifying
we have been scarifying
you have been scarifying
they have been scarifying
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been scarifying
you will have been scarifying
he/she/it will have been scarifying
we will have been scarifying
you will have been scarifying
they will have been scarifying
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been scarifying
you had been scarifying
he/she/it had been scarifying
we had been scarifying
you had been scarifying
they had been scarifying
I would scarify
you would scarify
he/she/it would scarify
we would scarify
you would scarify
they would scarify
Past Conditional
I would have scarified
you would have scarified
he/she/it would have scarified
we would have scarified
you would have scarified
they would have scarified
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.scarify - puncture and scar (the skin), as for purposes or tribal identification or rituals; "The men in some African tribes scarify their faces"
puncture - pierce with a pointed object; make a hole into; "puncture a tire"
2.scarify - scratch the surface of; "scarify seeds"
nock, score, mark - make small marks into the surface of; "score the clay before firing it"
3.scarify - break up; "scarify soil"
loosen - make less dense; "loosen the soil"

scarify 1

To criticize harshly and devastatingly:
Informal: roast.
Slang: slam.
Idioms: burn someone's ears, crawl all over, pin someone's ears back, put someone on the griddle, put someone on the hot seat, rake over the coals, read the riot act to.

scarify 2

To fill with fear:
Archaic: fright.
Idioms: make one's blood run cold, make one's hair stand on end, scare silly, scare the daylights out of.


[ˈskɛərɪfaɪ] VT (Med, Agr) → escarificar (fig) → despellejar, desollar, criticar severamente
References in classic literature ?
And the end of it is, father, what I told you all along," cries Penelope, finishing me off with a last scarification, the hottest of all.
The artist has adorned the gallery walls in artisanal wallpaper designs and the ceiling with copper sheets, both embellished with ritual scarifications, while the windows are filled with a delicate display of copper flower pots--not only an ironic nod to a Belgian bourgeois custom maintained within its colonies, but a critique of the exploitation of Congolese copper mines by its former colonial power.
In the other work, chemical and mechanical scarifications lead to improvement in germination of Ziziphus seed [7].
Traditionally, Benin citizens would receive basic tribal scarifications on their face, while further designs on other parts of their body were used to communicate more personal information.
Evident in this striking example from Nigeria are two beautification methods used by Ejagham women--delicate scarifications, or tattooing (a type of skin decoration very common in Africa), and filed teeth, which are realistically rendered in the mask.
His evidence is limited to references and allusions rather than analyses: to the famous cosmology of the Dogon, analysed by Dieterlen and Griaule, or the familiar facial scarifications of Yoruba culture.
Everyone else in the street appears to be shaking and torn up by scarifications.