Definitions

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

  • n. A source of widespread dreadful affliction and devastation such as that caused by pestilence or war.
  • n. A means of inflicting severe suffering, vengeance, or punishment.
  • n. A whip used to inflict punishment.
  • transitive v. To afflict with severe or widespread suffering and devastation; ravage.
  • transitive v. To chastise severely; excoriate.
  • transitive v. To flog.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A persistent pest, illness, or source of trouble, (figurative) cause of suffering to people.
  • n. A whip often of leather.
  • v. To strike with a scourge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lash; a strap or cord; especially, a lash used to inflict pain or punishment; an instrument of punishment or discipline; a whip.
  • n. Hence, a means of inflicting punishment, vengeance, or suffering; an infliction of affliction; a punishment.
  • transitive v. To whip severely; to lash.
  • transitive v. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict, as for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.
  • transitive v. To harass or afflict severely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A whip for the infliction of pain or punishment; a lash. See flagellum, 1.
  • n.
  • n. A punishment; a punitive affliction; any means of inflicting punishment. vengeance, or suffering.
  • n. One who or that which greatly afflicts, harasses, or destroys.
  • To whip with a scourge; lash; apply the scourge to.
  • To punish with severity; chastise or correct; afflict for sins or faults, and for the purpose of correction.
  • To afflict greatly; harass; torment.

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

  • v. cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
  • v. punish severely; excoriate
  • n. something causing misery or death
  • v. whip
  • n. a person who inspires fear or dread
  • n. a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)

Etymologies

Middle English, from Anglo-Norman escorge, from Old French escorgier, to whip, from Vulgar Latin *excorrigiāre : Latin ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + Latin corrigia, thong (probably of Celtic origin).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French escorgier ("to whip"), from Vulgar Latin excorrigere, consisting of ex- + Latin corrigo (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "Kevin Rudd as previous prime minister had indicated his intention to deal with what he called the scourge of it," he said.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • Despite the criticism of the new legislation, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed insists it is the only way to eradicate what he describes as the scourge of "professional" begging controlled by criminal gangs.

    IOL: News

  • Yet in reassuring the public that the economy will return to normal he has missed a key opportunity to expose the longer-term scourge of widening inequality and its dangers.

    Robert Reich: The Root of Economic Fragility and Political Anger

  • Rose is safe and he thinks he can do it again; sacrifice the lives on one planet to wipe the Dalek scourge from the face of the universe.

    Irked a Bit and Some Site Pimping

  • The identity theft scourge is only going to get worse in 2008 as perpetrators -- in pursuit of easy money -- get younger and pop up in developing countries.

    Report: Cybercriminals getting younger

  • If necessary, we will wipe the scourge from the face of the earth, from every corner, every hole, every cave, and from every dark, dingy quarter.

    Preaching terrorism « BuzzMachine

  • Today it seems that another terrible scourge is being spread, this time by a small band of cooks who contaminate via the airwaves.

    Boing Boing: February 10, 2002 - February 16, 2002 Archives

  • Are you, then, really in earnest about this admiration and fulsome praise of a man whom you abhorred formerly -- to whom at Frankfort you vowed everlasting hatred -- whom, in your wrath, you called the scourge that was torturing us, that we might be aroused from our stupor?

    Napoleon and the Queen of Prussia

  • Into Bessarabia came the Russians, while the Rumanians looked around to Germany for protection against the Oriental scourge from the east.

    The Empire at War in the Moslem Mediterranean

  • Still another fruit of this devastating scourge, is the development of the nation's true nobility.

    Death, the Law of Life

Comments

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  • Rodrigo used this word when he was upset about Juan's death.

    June 20, 2012