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See also: Scrabble and scrabblé




From Middle Dutch schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben (to scrape), equivalent to scrab +‎ -le. More at scrape.



scrabble (third-person singular simple present scrabbles, present participle scrabbling, simple past and past participle scrabbled)

  1. To scrape or scratch powerfully with hands or claws.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      Thus I lay for a long time, but afterwards stood up and cried aloud, and shrieked if anyone should haply hear me, calling to Mr. Glennie and Ratsey, and even Elzevir, by name, to save me from this awful place. But there came no answer, except the echo of my own voice sounding hollow and far off down in the vault. So in despair I turned back to the earth wall below the slab, and scrabbled at it with my fingers, till my nails were broken and the blood ran out; having all the while a sure knowledge, like a cord twisted round my head, that no effort of mine could ever dislodge the great stone.
  2. (intransitive) To move something about by making rapid movements back and forth with the hands or paws.
    She was on her hands and knees scrabbling in the mud, looking for her missing wedding ring.
  3. To scribble.
    • Bible, 1 Sam. xxi. 13
      David [] scrabbled on the doors of the gate.
  4. To mark with irregular lines or letters; to scribble on.
    to scrabble paper

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