Definition of scrum in English:



  • 1An ordered formation of players, used to restart play, in which the forwards of a team form up with arms interlocked and heads down, and push forward against a similar group from the opposing side. The ball is thrown into the scrum and the players try to gain possession of it by kicking it backwards towards their own side.

    • ‘With good restart possession from scrum and line-out they threw everything at a dogged CYM.’
    • ‘It's great for a front-row forward to look up from a scrum and see the ball trickling into touch 40 metres down the pitch.’
    • ‘The game was played under veteran's rules, which limit kicking and pushing in scrums in order to ‘even’ the playing field.’
    • ‘Bees leant Keighley a front row player and uncontested scrums were the order of the day.’
    • ‘City responded immediately when Crooks forced the ball home through a scrum of players from a corner.’
    • ‘Since they had no replacement front row forward the scrums were uncontested for the remainder of the game.’
    • ‘For the first time in ages, the opposition scrum was actually going backwards and the psychological boost that gives you is immense.’
    • ‘87 mins: Australia lose possession at the scrum with a Smith knock forward.’
    • ‘Ilkley's powerful front five had worn down the Heath pack and were pushing the Heath scrum backwards.’
    • ‘The scrums are going forward, opposition scrums are going back under sheer power and sublime technique.’
    1. 1.1British informal A disorderly crowd of people or things.
      ‘there was quite a scrum of people at the bar’
      • ‘Taxi wardens will patrol Manchester city centre to stop revellers brawling in the scrum for a Christmas cab.’
      • ‘As one of the major rugby pubs in the area it was quite a scrum during the recent Six Nations and Heineken Cup matches with Harlequins and Kingston Rugby Club teams popping in for the odd pint.’
      • ‘The home crowd were enthralled by Latapy, but the scrum of scouts there to watch Darryl Duffy left with one breathtaking moment to relay to their employers.’
      • ‘I guess that was so they didn't disturb the scrum of journalists crowded round a wide-screen telly watching the football.’
      • ‘At Galashiels station there was a huge crowd and a media scrum as I shook hands with the driver and the provost and boarded the train.’
      • ‘Fifteen minutes later the gig descended into a scrum with Ryder and Bez brawling on the floor.’
      • ‘So no info on media scrums o/s office, I'm afraid.’
      • ‘A huge scrum developed around the vehicles as desperate people tried to get places.’
      brawl, fracas, melee, row, rumpus, confrontation, skirmish, sparring match, exchange, struggle, tussle, scuffle, altercation, wrangle, clash, disturbance
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    2. 1.2mass noun A set of practices used in agile project management that emphasize daily communication, coordination of tasks, and flexible reassessment of plans that are carried out in short, iterative phases of work.
      ‘one of scrum's principles is to acknowledge that what customers want and need will change’


[no object]Rugby
  • 1Form or take part in a scrum.

    ‘the two men scrummed down together for University College, Dublin’
    • ‘You can see the difference when they back row is scrumming.’
    • ‘I grew up in the Cape so I'm used to scrumming in the wet weather so I hope it comes back to me during the match.’
    • ‘Despite their big away win over the Griffons last Friday, Bulldogs chief coach Kobus van der Merwe said he was far from satisfied with the quality of his team's scrumming and line-outs.’
    • ‘But Milan is still concerned at scrumming inconsistency, while the backs failed to function in Tullamore.’
    • ‘But rugby players are a brave lot and that's what the Bulldogs pack will have to be if they are to subdue a strong scrumming, rugged visiting pack.’
    • ‘They get blown quite a bit for their scrumming and if you look at most of the penalties against them, a high percentage are for indiscretions there.’
    • ‘Durant was very direct in his philosophy and not slow to offer constructive criticism of the Irish approach, particularly in the area of restricted scrumming, training attitudes and informed coaching.’
    • ‘Assistant coach Andre Human said he wasn't entirely happy with the scrumming of the Bulldogs and would be working on that.’
    • ‘Former Springbok hooker Shaun Povey and scrumming expert Dougie Heymans have also arrived at the camp to assist coaching staff in preparing the forwards.’
    1. 1.1informal Jostle; crowd.
      ‘everyone was scrumming around behind him’
      struggle, vie, jockey, scramble, crowd one another
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Late 19th century: abbreviation of scrummage.