Origin uncertain. Compare earlier dialectal scramb (“pull with hands”).
- (Britain) shouted when something desirable is thrown into a group of people who individually want that item.
- (intransitive) To move hurriedly to a location, especially by using all limbs against a surface.
2012 April 18, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona”, in BBC Sport:
- As half-time approached Fabregas had another chance to give Barcelona the lead. He collected an incisive Messi pass and this time beat Cech, who required Cole to scramble back and clear the ball off the line.
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 3
- When I saw the coffin I knew that I was respited, for, as I judged, there was space between it and the wall behind enough to contain my little carcass; and in a second I had put out the candle, scrambled up the shelves, half-stunned my senses with dashing my head against the roof, and squeezed my body betwixt wall and coffin.
- (intransitive) To proceed to a location or an objective in a disorderly manner.
- (transitive, of food ingredients, usually including egg) To thoroughly combine and cook as a loose mass.
- I scrambled some eggs with spinach and cheese.
- (transitive) To process (telecommunication signals) to make them unintelligible to an unauthorized listener.
- (transitive, military) To quickly deploy (vehicles, usually aircraft) to a destination in response to an alert, usually to intercept an attacking enemy.
- (intransitive, sports) To partake in motocross.
- (intransitive) To ascend rocky terrain as a leisure activity.
- (transitive) To gather or collect by scrambling.
- to scramble up wealth
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Marlowe to this entry?)
- To struggle eagerly with others for something thrown upon the ground; to go down upon all fours to seize something; to catch rudely at what is desired.
- Of other care they little reckoning make, / Than how to scramble at the shearer's feast.
to move hurriedly to a location using all limbs against a surface
to proceed to a location or an objective in a disorderly manner
to mix food ingredients in a mix to be cooked into a loose mass
to quickly enter vehicles and proceed to destination
to partake in motocross
to ascend rocky terrain as a leisure activity
scramble (plural scrambles)
- A rush or hurry
- (military) An emergency defensive air force mission to intercept attacking enemy aircraft.
- A motocross race
- Any frantic period of activity.
2011 January 8, Chris Bevan, “Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds”, in BBC Sport:
- And the Leeds defence, led by the impressive Alex Bruce, was also in determined mood. Jonathan Howson had to clear a Sebastien Squillaci effort off his line and Becchio was also in the right place to hack clear after a goalmouth scramble.
2014 October 21, Oliver Brown, “Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years – sport afforded no protection against his tragic fallibilities: Bladerunner's punishment for killing Reeva Steenkamp is but a frippery when set against the burden that her bereft parents, June and Barry, must carry [print version: No room for sentimentality in this tragedy, 13 September 2014, p. S22]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Sport):
a rush or hurry
an emergency defensive air force mission
a motocross race
any frantic period of activity