from The Century Dictionary.

  • Slight; slender; thin; squeaking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Slight; thin; lean; poor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective slight; thin; lean; poor


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare scrawny.


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  • 'The hungry sheep,' as some one says somewhere, 'look up and are not fed;' and the same poet well describes your pipings as being on wretched straw pipes that are 'scrannel' -- a good word.

    The Path to Rome

  • Then the still air of the red room was split with a scrannel hiss, like the sudden escape of live steam. jorn had no time to puzzle over the sudden inaccessibility of the Director; everything abruptly was going too fast.

    And all the Stars a Stage

  • His fine and highly trained ear disliked the frequent harshness of their versification, their indifference to the well-ordered melody of vowel and consonant, the grating, 'scrannel pipe' concatenations which he notes so scornfully in the verse of Bishop Hall:

    Introduction. Grierson, Herbert J.C

  • The sparrow, like all street singers, sounds his scrannel note with raucous complacency; but it does not matter here, for no one is critical or talks of Art. Once, on a July morning, I ran through the cornflower-blue shadows of the path to a grove of young fir-trees, and was present at a breakfast party given by the willow warblers.

    The Spring of Joy: A Little Book of Healing

  • Thereupon arose, on all sides, the most terrific uproar of laughter, from voices like those of children in volume, but scrannel and harsh as those of decrepit age, though, unfortunately, without its weakness.

    Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women

  • The scrannel pipes of those who have worn themselves out by their moral fastings, till they have become flat and pale like starved vermin infesting a long-deserted bed, will never reach my ear.

    The Home and the World

  • Turkish veils, preceded by a Nubian outrider in semi-military livery; or, perhaps, a train of camels, ill-tempered and supercilious, craning their scrannel necks above the crowd, and laden with canvas bales scrawled over with Arabic addresses.

    A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

  • She calls to the priest to renounce the fleshly woman and cleave to Her, the Bride who took his plighted troth; but it is a scrannel voice sighing from stone lungs: --

    Robert Browning

  • That is a touch beyond the ear or the hand of Fletcher: a chord sounded from Apollo's own harp after a somewhat hoarse and reedy wheeze from the scrannel-pipe of a lesser player than Pan.

    A Study of Shakespeare

  • Now, when I found out first that life and death are means to an end, that passion uses both, indisputably mistress of the man whose form of worship is self-sacrifice -- now, from the stone lungs sighed the scrannel voice, ` Leave that live passion, come be dead with me! '

    An Introduction to the Study of Robert Browning's Poetry


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  • (Archaic) 1) thin or slight. 2) squeaky or unmelodious.

    May 28, 2008