Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old Norse
Origin: skrapa


1 verb
Related topics: Illness and Disability
1 [transitive] to remove something from a surface using the edge of a knife, a stick etc:
Scrape the carrots and slice them thinly.
scrape something away/off
The earth was scraped away to uncover a trap door.
scrape something off/into etc something
Teresa scraped the mud off her boots.
The two of them scraped their dishes clean.
2 [intransitive,transitive always + adverb/preposition]MI to rub against a rough surface in a way that causes slight damage or injury, or to make something do this [↪ graze]:
The coat was too long; the hem scraped the pavement.
scrape against/on etc
I heard the side of the car scrape against the wall.
scrape something against/on something
I scraped my knee painfully on the concrete.
3 [intransitive and transitive] to make a noise by rubbing roughly against a surface:
Chairs scraped loudly as they stood up.
scrape (something) on/down/against something
He opened the gate quietly, trying not to let it scrape on the gravel.

scrape home

especially British English to win a race, election, or competition by a very small amount:
The Tories may scrape home, but it's unlikely.

scrape (the bottom of) the barrel

informal to have to use something even though it is not very good, because there is nothing better available:
It was clear that the party was scraping the barrel for competent politicians.

➔ bow and scrape

at bow1 (5)

; ➔ scrape/scratch a living

at living2 (1)

scrape something ↔ back

phrasal verb
if you scrape your hair back, you pull it away from your face and tie it at the back:
Her blonde hair was scraped back into a ponytail.

scrape by

phrasal verb
1 to have just enough money to live:
We can scrape by, thanks to what we grow ourselves.
2SE to only just succeed in passing an examination or dealing with a difficult situation

scrape in

phrasal verb
to only just succeed in getting a job, a place at university, a position in government etc:
Labour scraped in by a small majority.
He just scraped into college.

scrape through (something)

phrasal verb
to only just succeed in passing an examination or dealing with a difficult situation:
I managed to scrape through the exam.

scrape something ↔ together/up

phrasal verb
to get enough money for a particular purpose, when this is difficult:
She scraped together the last of her savings.
They could hardly scrape up enough money for the train fare.

Dictionary results for "scrape"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.