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The Oxford Thesaurus - An A-Z Dictionary Of Synonyms

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--v. 3 whip, flog, beat, lash, horsewhip, whale, belt,


flagellate: Some medieval sects scourged themselves as they


went in procession through the cities. 4 punish, castigate,


chastise, discipline, afflict, torment: In the old days,


students were scourged if they made a mistake.


v. 1 Often, scout about or around. reconnoitre, investigate,


study, research, examine, explore, spy, search or look (about or


around) (for), hunt (about or around) (for), cast around or


about (for), Colloq check (about or around): I am going to


scout about to find a key that fits. 2 scout up or out.


discover, find, locate, uncover, Colloq dig up: I was finally


able to scout up a key that fits.


v. 1 glower, frown, grimace, glare, look daggers, lower or


lour: It's hard to tell if he's ever pleased because he's


always scowling.


--n. 2 frown, grimace, glare, dirty look: I do wish she would


wipe that scowl off her face and try to look more pleasant.

scramble v. 1 climb, clamber, crawl, scrabble, struggle: We scrambled up the rocky hillside with the big cat in pursuit. 2 rush,

hurry, scamper, run, hasten, race, scurry, scoot, scuttle, dash, hotfoot (it), hustle, Chiefly US and Canadian, hightail (it),

Colloq skedaddle: When the siren sounded, we scrambled down to the air raid shelter. 3 Often, scramble up. mix up, confuse, jumble, intermingle, mingle, commingle: Contestants,

spectators, and officials were all scrambled together.

--n. 4 scrimmage, struggle, tussle, contention, clash, competition, contest, race, rush, clash, conflict, disorder, commotion, riot, mˆl‚e or melee, pandemonium, Colloq free-for-all, hassle, Brit scrum or scrummage: Thousands were involved in the scramble for tickets to the rock concert. In the scramble for a directorship Jeremy lost. 5 struggle, climb: She twisted her ankle in the scramble over the rocks.

scrap° n. 1 mite, bit, shred, bite, morsel, piece, fragment, shard or sherd, particle, sliver, snippet, snip, crumb, whit, iota, jot

or tittle, snatch, drop, drip, grain, speck, molecule, atom, dab, trace, scintilla, hint, suggestion: There wasn't a scrap

of evidence to link him with the crime. 2 scraps. remnants, remains, leftovers, leavings, residue, vestiges, traces, scrapings, discards, rejections, rejects: In the alley, two cats were fighting over some scraps of garbage. 3 waste,

debris, rubbish, Colloq junk: Any computer more than five years old isn't even worth its weight as scrap.

--v. 4 discard, throw away, reject, abandon, give up, consign to the scrap heap, forsake, forget, get rid of, dispose of, dispense with, Colloq junk, US trash: If I were you, I would buy a new car and scrap this one.

scrapý n. 1 fight, brawl, fracas, fray, affray, rumpus, scuffle, Donnybrook, battle (royal); row, dispute, argument, quarrel, disagreement, wrangle, squabble, tiff, spat, Colloq ruckus, set-to, dust-up: A terrible scrap broke out in the pub last and the police were called in. Our neighbours were having a scrap about who should take the dog for a walk.

--v. 2 fight, brawl, spar, scuffle, battle, row, wrangle, argue, disagree, squabble, bicker: Let's not scrap over trifles - only important things.

scrapbook n. album, portfolio, collection: She keeps a scrapbook of reviews of her stage triumphs.

scrape v. 1 abrade, graze, scratch, bark, scuff, skin, bruise, damage, injure: I scraped my knee on the pavement when I fell. 2 Often, scrape off or away or out. remove, rub off or away, scour or scrub or clean (off or away), scratch off or away, claw (at

or away or out), gouge out, scrabble (at), dig out or away at: As I scraped away the grime, a beautiful mosaic was revealed. Each sled dog scraped out a hole in the snow and snuggled into it. 3 skimp, scrimp (and scrape), save, stint, be frugal or

stingy or parsimonious or thrifty, pinch and save or scrape, economize; struggle, US scrabble: Only by scraping were we able to pay the increased taxes. 4 bow and scrape. make obeisance, kowtow, salaam, genuflect, kiss the feet or hem or ring, grovel, demean or lower oneself, prostrate oneself, toady, Colloq boot-lick: He can bow and scrape all he likes, but Jones will

get nowhere with the foreman. 5 scrape by or through. get by, cope, (barely) manage, survive, scrape or get along, Colloq squeak by, barely make it: We are just about able to scrape by

on the little that Nigel is making. 6 scrape together or up. glean, garner, scratch or get or rake together or up, dredge up, scrabble for, gather, save (up), get hold of, marshal, amass, muster, accumulate, aggregate, compile, pile up, stack up,

assemble, Colloq scrounge (up): By the time we finally managed to scrape up enough for a down payment on a house, the prices had gone up.

--n. 7 abrasion, bruise, scratch, graze, scuff, damage, injury:

He was very annoyed when he found a scrape on his brand-new car. 8 predicament, difficulty, quandary, dilemma, plight, (fine)

kettle of fish, muddle, stew, situation, position, pinch, Colloq pickle, fix, mess, the crunch, (tight or tough) spot: I got

into a terrible scrape by forgetting our wedding anniversary. Can you lend me some money to help me out of a scrape?

scratch v. 1 mar, mark, gouge (out), gash, abrade, graze, scuff, grate against, bruise, damage, injure; claw: If you glue some felt to the bottom, the lamp won't scratch the table. 2 chafe, rub: If you scratch those mosquito bites you might get an infection. 3 Often, scratch out or off. erase, obliterate, rub out or off,

cross out, delete, strike out or off, expunge; exclude, eliminate, US x out: You can scratch my name from the list of candidates. She scratched out what she had written and started again.

--n. 4 mark, gouge, gash, abrasion, scrape, graze, scuff, bruise, damage, injury; line: Where did you get that scratch on your face? 'It's only a scratch', Sandy protested as they tried

to remove the spear from his shoulder. 5 up to scratch. up to standard or par, adequate, sufficient, good enough, competent, satisfactory, competitive, Colloq up to snuff: Cynthia's performance is not yet up to scratch, so she might not make the team.

--adj. 6 hasty, hurried, impromptu, unplanned, haphazard, rough, casual, informal, unprepared, unpremeditated, makeshift, extempore, Colloq off the cuff, US pick-up: We didn't have time to practise, so we are racing with a scratch crew.

scratchy adj. 1 itchy, irritating, prickly: The pullover was as scratchy as a hair shirt. 2 rough, hoarse, raw, grating, sore, raspy, dry: My throat feels a bit scratchy and I need something

to drink.

scrawl n. 1 scribble, Colloq squiggle, US hen-scratch, chicken-scratch: I can't read that scrawl of his.

--v. 2 scribble, scratch, doodle: How do pharmacists read the prescriptions that doctors scrawl?

scrawny adj. bony, skinny, spare, drawn, reedy, haggard, lean, lank(y), scraggy, gaunt, raw-boned, angular, emaciated, cadaverous; anorectic or anorexic: She certainly has changed from that scrawny kid I used to know.

scream v. 1 shriek, screech, squeal, yowl, wail, caterwaul, howl, cry: She screamed when I applied iodine to the cut. 2 laugh, roar, hoot, howl, guffaw: The women screamed hysterically as the male stripper got down to the bare essentials.

--n. 3 shriek, screech, squeal, yowl, wail, caterwaul, howl, cry: When she saw what had happened, she let out a blood-curdling scream. 4 Colloq card, panic, riot, thigh-slapper: Phyllis is such a scream when she talks about the silly things that happen to her.

screen n. 1 partition, (room) divider, paravent, wall: In their one-room flat a bookcase serves as a screen to separate the living area from the sleeping area. 2 shelter, protection, shield, cover: A row of poplars acts as a screen against the wind. 3 curtain, blind, shroud, cloak, cover; concealment, camouflage: The gauze fabric was too transparent to act as a screen. 4 sieve, mesh, strainer, filter, colander, riddle: The sand has to be shovelled through a screen to get rid of the stones. 5 motion pictures, movies, silver screen; television,

small screen, home screen, Colloq box, telly, US boob tube: She is a star of both the big and small screens.

--v. 6 partition (off), separate, divide, wall off: Why not use a beaded curtain to screen the kitchen area from the

dining-room? 7 shelter, protect, shield, cover, guard, conceal, camouflage, mask, veil, hide: A decorative pierced wall screens the ladies of the harem from the prying eyes of visitors. 8

sift, separate (out), sort (out), filter, select, cull, process, interview, evaluate, grade, gauge, qualify, examine, scan,

Chiefly Brit vet: The agency screens all candidates before sending them to see a client.

screw n. 1 bolt, screw-bolt, machine screw, lag-bolt, lag-screw: This screw is too small to hold that door hinge. 2 helix, spiral, corkscrew: The screw of a spiral staircase should not be too small for safety. 3 sexual intercourse; sexual partner,

Slang lay, Taboo slang fuck: When arrested for kerb-crawling, he said that he was just looking for a screw. 4 put the screws on (someone). pressure, influence, force, constrain, press, oblige, require, demand, coerce, compel, apply pressure, bring pressure to bear (on); insist; Chiefly Brit pressurize, Colloq twist (someone's) arm, put the squeeze on (someone): I believe that someone put the screws on him to leave town.

--v. 5 twist, turn, rotate: Screw the bolt in clockwise. 6 Often, screw out of. defraud, cheat, swindle, gull, bilk, do out of, Slang take, clip, fleece: They screwed him by convincing him that the bonds were real. He was screwed out of all his savings. 7 screw up. a raise, increase, stretch, strain;

summon, call up, call upon, tap, draw on or upon: I screwed up my courage to ask for a salary increase. b ruin, destroy, make

a mess of, botch, bungle, muddle, mismanage, mishandle, Colloq make a hash of, Slang louse up, Brit make a muck-up of, US bollix up, Taboo slang fuck up, Brit bugger up, ballocks or bollocks up, make a balls-up of: It is hard to see how they

could have screwed up such a simple operation. c contort, twist, deform, warp: At the suggestion of cauliflower, Ambrose screwed up his face in displeasure.

scribe n. 1 copyist, copier, transcriber, Archaic scrivener; amanuensis, clerk, secretary: Before the invention of movable type printing, copies of books and documents were prepared by scribes. 2 writer, author, penman, scrivener, wordsmith, scribbler, hack, penny-a-liner; dramatist, dramaturge, playwright, poet, novelist, essayist, columnist, technical writer; journalist, gentleman or lady of the press,

newspaperman, newspaperwoman, reporter, rewrite man or woman or person, editor, reviewer, commentator, newswriter, sob sister,

agony aunt or uncle, Miss Lonelyhearts, gossip columnist, member of the fourth estate, Brit paragraphist, leader-writer, US Grub Streeter, Colloq Brit journo: In a general way, he refers to

all writers as 'scribes', but particularly those he considers a

bit old-fashioned.

--v. 3 inscribe, incise, etch, engrave, mark, scratch, score, grave, scrimshaw, carve, chase or enchase: The shotgun was scribed with the most beautiful designs, some inlaid in gold.

scrimmage n. skirmish, scuffle, fray, affray, disturbance, brouhaha, mˆl‚e or melee, riot, row, brawl, struggle, scramble, tussle, fracas, rumpus, Donnybrook, battle, fight, Colloq ruckus, set-to, dust-up, free-for-all, scrap, Brit scrum or scrummage, Slang Brit (bit of) bovver: The police were called when what started as a minor scrimmage began to develop into a riot.

script n. 1 handwriting, hand, (cursive) writing, penmanship; calligraphy: These love-letters are written in an unusually beautiful script. 2 manuscript, scenario, book, play, screenplay, teleplay, libretto, continuity: Stick to the script - I don't want you ad libbing!

--v. 3 write, pen, prepare, create: The new series was scripted by the same writer who wrote 'Out in the Outback'. 4 plan, organize, design, arrange, lay out, order, configure,

pattern: The take-over of the company had not been scripted in their business forecasts.

Scripture n. Scriptures, sacred writings, Bible, Good Book, Holy Writ or Scripture(s), Word of God, Gospel(s); Book of Mormon; Koran; Upanishad(s), Bhagavad-Gita: Throughout his life, he did only those things approved in Scripture.

scrounge v. 1 ferret out, seek out, nose or smell out, come up with, scrape together or up, scratch up; importune, cadge, beg (, borrow, or steal), Colloq US freeload, bum: Did Hedley try to scrounge some money from you, too?

--n. 2 scrounger, cadger, parasite, Colloq sponger, US freeloader: Hedley, that scrounge, has just asked me for a cigarette.

scrub v. 1 See scour, 1, above. 2 cancel, call off, abort, scratch, drop, terminate, give up, end, abandon, stop, cease,

discontinue, do away with: Something went wrong with the fuel computer, so they scrubbed today's satellite launch.

scruple n. 1 compunction, qualm, reluctance, misgiving, second thoughts, doubt, (twinge of) conscience, hesitation, uneasiness, discomfort, squeamishness: Peter hadn't the slightest scruple about taking the money from his aunt.

--v. 2 pause, falter, hesitate, vacillate, have doubts or compunction (about), demur, waver, shrink from or at, have misgivings or qualms (about or over), be loath or loth (to), think twice (about), stick at, be reluctant, balk (at), have scruples (about): Susan didn't scruple for a moment about keeping the money she found in the street.


adj. 1 careful, cautious, meticulous, exacting, precise, over-nice, strict, rigid, rigorous, severe, critical, fastidious, neat, conscientious, finicky or finical, fussy,

painstaking, punctilious: Andrew has always been scrupulous about his toys, his books, his clothes, etc. 2 ethical, honourable, upstanding, moral, righteous, principled, high-minded, just: Meg was always scrupulous in her business dealings.


v. examine, analyse, dissect, investigate, probe, study, inspect, sift, go over or through, check: I have scrutinized the results of the blood tests and can find nothing abnormal.

scrutiny n. examination, analysis, investigation, probe, probing, study, inspection, sifting, inquiry or enquiry, exploration, check:

The tax inspectors have subjected the company books to close scrutiny but have found nothing amiss.


v. fly, skim, race, scoot, speed, shoot: We scudded along in


the catamaran at a good 30 knots.

sculpture n. 1 figure, figurine, statue, statuette, group, head, bust, relief; bronze, marble: His favourite sculpture is Rodin's Burghers of Calais .

--v. 2 sculpt or sculp, model, model, chisel, carve, cast, form, fashion: The students are learning how to sculpture in clay.


adj. foul-mouthed, thersitical, gross, indecent, profane, Fescennine, vulgar, obscene, licentious, Sotadean or Sotadic, foul, vituperative, low, coarse, scabrous, vile, nasty, defamatory, derogatory, disparaging, vilifying, calumnious or calumniatory, malign, aspersive, opprobrious, offensive, abusive, insulting: Clifford was an inveterate collector of scurrilous limericks.

scurry v. dash, scramble, scamper, scoot, dart, fly, race, sprint, scuttle, hurry, hasten, speed, hustle, rush, tear, zoom, zip, bolt, rip, scud: A rat scurried across the floor. We went scurrying round the shops on Christmas Eve.

scurvy adj. low, miserable, contemptible, vile, base, despicable, rotten, sorry, bad, ignoble, dishonourable, mean, worthless, shabby: Robbing poor old ladies is a pretty scurvy activity.

19.3 sea...



n. 1 ocean, deep blue sea, high seas, Literary (briny) deep,


(bounding) main, Neptune's or Poseidon's kingdom or domain,


Nautical blue water, Davy Jones's locker, Colloq briny, drink,


pond (= 'Atlantic Ocean'): For years he sailed the seas in


search of adventure. 2 swell, breaker, wave: As the wind


increased, huge seas began to wash over the boat. 3 plethora,


quantity, abundance, surfeit, profusion, flood, multitude,


spate, legion, mass, Colloq lot(s), heap(s), pile(s), ton(s),


mountain(s), load(s), oodles, gobs, scads: Hamlet's sea of


troubles was nothing compared to mine if this book isn't


completed soon! 4 (all) at sea. confused, disoriented, at sixes


and sevens, bewildered, perplexed, baffled, mystified, lost,


adrift: They were clearly not expecting her and were completely


at sea as to what to do.

sea-coast n. seashore, shore, coast, seaside, seaboard, shoreline, coastline, littoral, sand(s), beach, strand: The people in the villages along the sea-coast depend mainly on fishing for their livelihood.

seafaring adj. maritime, nautical, naval, marine: Britain was at one time the largest seafaring nation in the world.


n. 1 symbol, token, mark, insigne (pl. insignia), sign, signet,


crest, bearing, coat of arms, escutcheon, emblem, badge,


monogram, identification, cartouche, design, imprint, stamp:


The seal on his ring showed a crouching lion. 2 authentication,


confirmation, verification, validation, affirmation,


attestation, ratification, corroboration, assurance, guarantee


or guaranty, endorsement, substantiation, evidence, notice,


notification: Management set their seal of approval on the




--v. 3 Sometimes, seal off or up. close (off or up), shut


(off), zip up, plug (up), stop (up), lock, bolt, secure, batten


down, make airtight or waterproof; cork: All exits had been


sealed off. They sealed up the windows so that no air could get


in. 4 authenticate, confirm, verify, validate, affirm, attest,


ratify, clinch, corroborate, assure, ensure, guarantee, endorse:


The peace treaty was sealed by the marriage of the king to the


emperor's daughter.


n. 1 junction, juncture, joint, suture, Technical commissure;


scar, ridge, line, cicatrix: It is easy enough to see the seam


where the parts meet. 2 lode, vein, stratum, bed, layer,


thickness: The miners have been working on a new seam


discovered at the end of Tunnel 4.

seamy adj. sordid, nasty, dark, disreputable, shameful, unwholesome, unpalatable, unsavoury, distasteful, unseemly, squalid, low, depraved, degenerate, degraded, foul, vile, odious, abhorrent, contemptible, scurvy, rotten, unattractive, ugly, repulsive, repellent: In his later work, he painted the seamy side of life

in the slums.

search v. 1 Often, search through. examine, scrutinize, check, comb (through), explore, go through, investigate, scout out, inspect, look at or into, probe, scour, sift through, pry into, hunt or rummage through; inquire or enquire of, Colloq plough through: She searched through several encyclopedias but could not find the information she was looking for. Search your conscience to determine the best course. 2 Often, search for. look (about or around), cast about, seek, leave no stone unturned: I searched

high and low but couldn't find my key.

--n. 3 hunt, pursuit, quest: The search for the killer went on for years. 4 researching, analysis; exploration, examination, scrutiny, probe, study, perusal, sifting, inspection, scouring, inquiry or enquiry: A thorough search of the documents failed to turn up anything useful. The police made a house-to-house search of the neighbourhood.


adv. penetratingly, piercingly, intently, deeply, fixedly, concentratedly, eagerly: She looked searchingly into my eyes for some glimmer of hope.

season n. 1 time, period, occasion, opportunity: This is the season when the birds migrate north. Is the silly season upon us again so soon? 2 in season. ripe, ready, edible, seasoned, seasonable, available: Fresh strawberries will be in season soon.

--v. 3 spice, salt, flavour, pep up, enliven: One of the great things about chicken is that you can season it in many different ways. 4 ripen, mature, age, condition, mellow: The wood should be well seasoned before being made into furniture.


adj. appropriate, opportune, suitable, apt, timely, fitting, providential, well-timed, proper, fit, propitious, welcome, well-suited, happy, lucky, fortunate, convenient, auspicious, favourable, advantageous, expedient: The success of the book was owing largely to its seasonable publication, just at the end of the cold war.

seasoned adj. experienced, trained, long-standing, long-serving, practised, well-versed, habituated, acclimatized or acclimated, accustomed, familiarized, prepared, established, veteran, tempered, hardened, toughened, inured: It was a pleasure to be working with so seasoned a performer as Margie.

seasoning n. spice, zest, flavour, relish, sauce: The fact that a former film star was running for office lent just the right seasoning

to the campaign.


n. 1 place, chair, bench, sofa, settee, settle, stool, throne:

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