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v. scratched, scratch·ing, scratch·es
1. To make a thin shallow cut or mark on (a surface) with a sharp instrument.
2. To use the nails or claws to dig or scrape at.
3. To rub or scrape (the skin) to relieve itching.
4. To scrape or strike on an abrasive surface.
5. To write or draw (something) by scraping a surface: scratched their initials on a rock.
6. To write or draw hurriedly: scratched off a thank-you note.
a. To strike out or cancel (a word, for example) by or as if by drawing lines through.
b. Slang To cancel (a project or program, for example).
a. To withdraw (an entry) from a contest or competition: The jockey decided to scratch the horse when it sprained its ankle.
b. To withdraw an entry from (a contest or competition): Having won three races already, the swimmer scratched her final event.
1. To use the nails or claws to dig, scrape, or wound.
2. To rub or scrape the skin to relieve itching.
3. To make a harsh scraping sound.
4. To gather funds or produce a living with difficulty.
a. To withdraw from a contest or competition.
b. Games To make a shot in billiards that results in a penalty, as when the cue ball falls into a pocket or jumps the cushion.
a. A mark resembling a line that is produced by scratching.
b. A slight wound.
2. A hasty scribble.
3. A sound made by scratching.
a. Sports The starting line for a race.
b. A contestant who has been withdrawn from a competition.
5. Games
a. The act of scratching in billiards.
b. A fluke or chance shot in billiards.
6. Poultry feed.
7. Slang Money.
1. Done haphazardly or by chance.
2. Assembled hastily or at random.
3. Sports Having no golf handicap.
from scratch
From the very beginning.
scratch the surface
To investigate or treat something in superficial or preliminary fashion.
up to scratch Informal
1. Meeting the requirements.
2. In fit condition.

[Middle English scracchen, probably blend of scratten, to scratch, and cracchen, to scratch (possibly from Middle Dutch cratsen).]

scratch′er n.


(Veterinary Science) (functioning as singular) a disease of horses characterized by dermatitis in the region of the fetlock. Also called: cracked heels or mud fever
[C16: so called because it makes the pastern appear to be scratched]
References in classic literature ?
After this fight, Mastro Antonio had two more scratches on his nose, and Geppetto had two buttons missing from his coat.
Fortunately the scratches were on the fleshy parts of the arms and shoulders, where, though painful, they were not necessarily serious.
I'll have Professor Bumper come over and dress your scratches in a better and more careful way.
It also seems to me that such scratches in the whale are probably made by hostile contact with other whales; for I have most remarked them in the large, full-grown bulls of the species.
There's no bones broken, sir; he'll only get a few scratches.
the scratches will seem to arrange themselves in a fine series of concentric circles round that little sun.
So the Captain-General took Eureka from the arms of the now weeping Dorothy and in spite of the kitten's snarls and scratches carried it away to prison.
This combination allows iGloss to repair minor scratches via instant reflow, where the clearcoat springs back from external pressures, such as the bristles of a car wash brush.
When the cat scratches, these glands release chemical signals unnoticed by humans but readily recognized by other cats.
gov/eid/article/22/10/16-0115_article) study  conducted by doctors from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) proved cat-scratch disease, an infection with Bartonella bacteria that is believed to be transmitted by cat scratches and bites, is actually more impactful and deadly than what was originally assumed.
The scratch machine used for this purpose was a Micro Combi Tester (CSM Instruments, Peseaux, Switzerland) equipped with an optical microscope (i) allowing indenter positioning before scratch tests pass and (ii) to visualize scratches traced.
Shoulder heights and scratch depths measured for three scratches at the same location are reported in this study to obtain mean value and standard deviation.