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English definition of “scratch”

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scratch

verb uk   /skrætʃ/ us  

scratch verb (CUT)

B2 [I or T] to cut or damage a surface or your skin slightly with or on something sharp or rough: We scratched the paintwork trying to get the bed into Martha's room. Be careful not to scratch yourself on the roses. A few chickens were scratching about/around (= searching with their beaks) in the yard for grain.B2 [T] If you scratch something on or off a surface, you add it or remove it by scratching: People have been scratching their names on this rock for years. I'm afraid I scratched some paint off the door as I was getting out of the car.B2 [I] If an animal scratches, it rubs something with its claws (= sharp nails): The dog's scratching at the door - he wants to be let in.B2 [I or T] to rub your skin with your nails: He was scratching (at) his mosquito bites. Hannah scratched her head thoughtfully.
More examples

scratch verb (REMOVE)

[I or T] to remove yourself or another person or an animal from a competition before the start: The world champion scratched from the 800 metres after falling ill three hours earlier. They scratched the horse from the race because she had become lame.

scratch verb (STOP)

[T] ( UK usually scrub) informal to decide not to do something you had planned to do: We had to scratch our plans when I lost my job.
Synonym

scratch

noun uk   /skrætʃ/ us  
B2 [C] a mark made by scratching: Her legs were covered in scratches and bruises after her walk through the forest. There was a scratch on the CD. Amazingly, he survived the accident without a scratch (= without suffering any injuries at all). [S] an act of scratching: That dog is having a good scratch. It must have fleas.

scratch

adjective uk   /skrætʃ/ UK us  
scratch team/side/orchestra a group of people brought together in a hurry in order to play together on a particular occasion
(Definition of scratch from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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