Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A crust discharged from and covering a healing wound.
  • n. Scabies or mange in domestic animals or livestock, especially sheep.
  • n. Any of various plant diseases caused by fungi or bacteria and resulting in crustlike spots on fruit, leaves, or roots.
  • n. The spots caused by such a disease.
  • n. Slang A person regarded as contemptible.
  • n. A worker who refuses membership in a labor union.
  • n. An employee who works while others are on strike; a strikebreaker.
  • n. A person hired to replace a striking worker.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with scabs or a scab.
  • intransitive v. To work or take a job as a scab.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An incrustation over a sore, wound, vesicle, or pustule, formed during healing.
  • n. The scabies.
  • n. The mange, especially when it appears on sheep.
  • n. Several different diseases of potatoes producing pits and other damage on their surface, caused by Streptomyces -bacteria.
  • n. Short form for common scab, a relatively harmless variety of scab caused by Streptomyces scabies.
  • n. Any one of various more or less destructive fungus diseases attacking cultivated plants, and forming dark-colored crustlike spots.
  • n. A slight irregular protuberance which defaces the surface of a casting, caused by the breaking away of a part of the mold.
  • n. A mean, dirty, paltry fellow.
  • n. A worker who acts against trade union policies, especially a strikebreaker.
  • v. To become covered by a scab or scabs.
  • v. To form into scabs and be shed, as damaged or diseased skin.
  • v. To remove part of a surface (from).
  • v. To act as a strikebreaker.
  • v. To beg (for), to cadge or bum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An incrustation over a sore, wound, vesicle, or pustule, formed by the drying up of the discharge from the diseased part.
  • n. The itch in man; also, the scurvy.
  • n. The mange, esp. when it appears on sheep.
  • n. A disease of potatoes producing pits in their surface, caused by a minute fungus (Tiburcinia Scabies).
  • n. A slight irregular protuberance which defaces the surface of a casting, caused by the breaking away of a part of the mold.
  • n. A mean, dirty, paltry fellow.
  • n. A nickname for a workman who engages for lower wages than are fixed by the trades unions; also, for one who takes the place of a workman on a strike.
  • n. Any one of various more or less destructive fungus diseases attacking cultivated plants, and usually forming dark-colored crustlike spots.
  • intransitive v. To become covered with a scab.
  • intransitive v. to take the place of a striking worker.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An incrusted substance, dry and rough, formed over a sore in healing.
  • n. The mange, or some mangy disease caused by the presence of a parasite, as an itch-insect; scabies.
  • n. A mean, paltry, or shabby fellow: a term of contempt.
  • n. Specifically, in recent use, a workman who is not or refuses to become a member of a labor-union, who refuses to join in a strike, or who takes the place of a striker: an opprobrious term used by the workmen or others who dislike his action.
  • n. In botany, a fungous disease affecting various fruits, especially apples and pears, in which a black mold appears, often distorting or destroying the fruit.
  • n. In founding, any projection on a casting caused by a defect in the sand-mold.
  • Having to do with “scabs,” or made by them: used opprobriously: as, scab mills; scab labor; scab shoes.
  • To form a scab or scabby incrustation; become covered with a scab or scabs; specifically, to heal over; cicatrize; repair solution of continuity of a surface by the formation of a new skin or cicatrix.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take the place of work of someone on strike
  • v. form a scab
  • n. someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike
  • n. the crustlike surface of a healing skin lesion

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old Norse skabb.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English sceabb, Old Norse skabb, Latin scabies ("scab, itch, mange.") Cognate with Old English scafan, Latin scabere ("to scratch"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They denied that the term scab has been used in a threatening or intimidating manner.

    ireland.com Breaking News

  • Their hatred for a scab is as terrible as the hatred of a patriot for a traitor, of a Christian for a Judas.

    The Scab

  • The uncompromising and terrible hatred of the trade-unionist for a scab is the hatred of a class for a traitor to that class, -- while the hatred of a trade-unionist for the militia is the hatred of a class for a weapon wielded by the class with which it is fighting.

    The Class Struggle

  • Their hatred for a scab is as terrible as the hatred of a patriot for a traitor, of a

    The Scab

  • The uncompromising and terrible hatred of the trade unionist for a scab is the hatred of a class for a traitor to that class, while the hatred of a trade unionist for the militia is the hatred of a class for a weapon wielded by the class with which it is fighting.

    The Class Struggle

  • The sentimental connotation of "scab" is as terrific as that of "traitor" or "Judas," and a sentimental definition would be as deep and varied as the human heart.

    The Scab

  • A violent accession of noise proclaimed that the mob had broken through and was dragging a scab from a wagon.

    SOUTH OF THE SLOT

  • The labor scab is no more detestable to his brother laborers than is the capitalist scab to his brother capitalists.

    THE SCAB

  • But on closer investigation, however, it will be seen that the non-scab is almost a vanishing quantity.

    THE SCAB

  • Under the definition that a scab is one who gives more value for the same price than another, it would seem that society can be generally divided into the two classes of the scabs and the non-scabs.

    THE SCAB

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