- 1 [countable] a mark, a cut or an injury made by scratching somebody’s skin or the surface of something Her hands were covered in scratches from the brambles. a scratch on the paintwork It's only a scratch (= a very slight injury). He escaped without a scratch (= was not hurt at all). See related entries: Injuries sound
- 2[singular] the unpleasant sound of something sharp or rough being rubbed against a surface with your nails
- 3[singular] the act of scratching a part of your body when it itches Go on, have a good scratch! Word Origin late Middle English: probably a blend of the synonymous dialect words scrat and cratch, both of uncertain origin; compare with Middle Low German kratsen and Old High German krazzōn.Extra examples I’ve got some nasty scratches on my legs. Powdered cleansers will leave scratches on the glass. She emerged from the wrecked vehicle without a scratch.Idioms
- 1without any previous preparation or knowledge I learned German from scratch in six months. He built the orchestra up from scratch.
- 2from the very beginning, not using any of the work done earlier They decided to dismantle the machine and start again from scratch.