From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishscratchscratch1 /skrætʃ/ ●●● S3 verb 1 rub your skin [intransitive, transitive]RUB to rub your skin with your nails because it feels uncomfortable → itch John yawned and scratched his leg. Try not to scratch.scratch at He was scratching at the bites on his arm.► see thesaurus at touch2 cut somebody’s skin [intransitive, transitive]CUT to cut someone’s skin slightly with your nails or with something sharp She ran at him and scratched his face. Don’t scratch yourself on the thorns.3 make a mark [transitive]CUT to make a small cut or mark on something by pulling something sharp across it I’m afraid I’ve scratched your car. Some of the prisoners had scratched their names on the walls.4 animals [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]C if an animal scratches, it rubs its feet against something, often making a noise A few chickens scratched around in the yard.scratch at a dog scratching at the door to be let in5 remove something [transitive always + adverb/preposition]REMOVE to remove something from a surface by rubbing it with something sharpscratch something off/away etc I scratched away a little of the paint with my fingernail.6 remove writing [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to remove a word from a piece of writing by drawing a line through it syn cross outscratch something from/off something I have scratched his name from the list.7 make a noise [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to make a rough sound by moving something sharp across a surface His pen scratched away on the paper.8 → scratch the surface9 → scratch your head10 stop something happening [transitive] informalSTOP DOING something if you scratch an idea or a plan, you decide that you will not do it syn abandon11 remove from race [intransitive, transitive] informalDS if someone scratches from a race, or if you scratch them from the race, they do not take part in it12 → you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours → scrape/scratch a living at living2(1) → scratch around → scratch something ↔ out→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusscratch• She found her friend, Felicia Moon, bruised and scratched after a fight with her husband.• Maura rubbed her face against his cheek and felt his stubble scratching against her smooth skin.• One of these involves using the hind leg to scratch an area of skin to which an irritant has been applied.• The dog kept scratching at the door to be let in.• He sat scratching his head, trying to think of the answer.• He sat thinking, scratching his head.• The cat will scratch if you make her mad.• There's a spot in the middle of my back that itches - can you scratch it for me?• Don't scratch - it will only make the itching worse.• The cat scratched me while I was playing with her.• I scratch my face to feel a bloodless mound.• I scratched my hand on a rusty nail.• For a couple of years he scratched out a living, feeling sorry for himself and dissipating his savings.• The medicine relieves the itching, so the child doesn't scratch so much.• Well, I guess we can scratch that idea.• She scratched the knife along the zipper of my jeans and threw the blade again.• Don't scratch - the rash will get infected.• I scratched the side of the car as I was backing it into the driveway.• Don't use that cleaner - it'll scratch the sink.• Be careful not to scratch the table with those scissors.• I had several mosquito bites, and it was difficult not to scratch them.• They scratched themselves, and worse.