Definition of scar in English:



  • 1A mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.

    ‘a faint scar ran the length of his left cheek’
    • ‘Her burns were slowly healing and turning into scars, the skin on the back her neck was still a little black and her skin was still peeling.’
    • ‘After healing, a depressed scar remains that is usually round but can be irregular.’
    • ‘She called back, her pale yellow skin full of scars from old wounds.’
    • ‘The problems corrected ranged from leakage and wrinkling to deflation of the implant and tightening of the scar tissue around the implant.’
    • ‘Cutting-edge equipment will mean that those with burns, lesions and other skin scars can now have their cases reviewed on a computer.’
    • ‘Skin involvement occurs in one third of patients and is focused around the scalp, face, and upper trunk, and heals with scars.’
    • ‘No intelligent words from the President or anyone else, can breathe life into the dead, or erase the burn scars on the bodies of people who were injured in the blasts.’
    • ‘Additionally, the interviewers examined any scars of lesions.’
    • ‘When those scars are well healed they are located in positions that are difficult to see.’
    • ‘Signs of torture may be subtle and include occult fractures from beatings or 1-2 mm clustered scars from electrical burns.’
    • ‘Occasionally, there may be some excess skin left around the scars, if this does not drop off after a few months it will need to be surgically removed.’
    • ‘Other treatments for burn scars can include massage therapy and steroid drugs.’
    • ‘Remodeling processes appear to be important in the evolution of the fibrous scar.’
    • ‘They may also occur at skin graft harvest sites and stoma placement sites or at surgical wounds or scars.’
    • ‘Nodules - hard lumps under the skin that can be very painful, go deep into the skin and often cause scars.’
    • ‘Excessive fibrous tissue formation in a healing skin wound may form a raised and ugly scar, known as keloid, especially if the edges of a wound have not been held together effectively.’
    • ‘This enables doctors to look for scars, sores, and other problems inside the bladder, and is usually done under general or epidural anaesthetic.’
    • ‘The fix includes snipping underneath the skin to sever the connective tissue, causing the scar to spring up.’
    • ‘Pulse dye lasers have been used to treat spider veins on the face and legs, port wine birthmarks, warts, rosacea, stretch marks and scars.’
    • ‘After her examination, but by this time armed with remorse and guilt, I asked for the meaning of the multiple burn scars on her skin.’
    1. 1.1A lasting effect of grief, fear, or other emotion left on a person's character by an unpleasant experience.
      ‘the attack has left mental scars on Terry and his family’
      • ‘After confronting mum and dad, I have been able to get on with my life but I still bare the emotional scars and visual torments of dreams and visions.’
      • ‘It did leave emotional scars and it still hurts.’
      • ‘But it also left emotional scars, and bitterness that Hull's suffering was never properly recognised.’
      • ‘Twenty years later in Winnipeg, he will meet Judith, a runaway who saves him from his emotional scars as he saves her from the streets.’
      • ‘A blood transfusion and 52 stitches saved her life but she still bears the mental scars 25 years later.’
      • ‘It's happy music, but it comes from our souls, from our emotional scars.’
      • ‘Her honesty helped me realize that my mental and emotional scars were far more disfiguring than my physical ones.’
      • ‘I generally haven't played characters that have deep emotional scars and trauma, and I loved diving into the mind of a troubled character.’
      • ‘Physically he was back to his best, but Jackson still insists the mental scars of that summer robbed him of a metre.’
      • ‘The original Essex geezers of electro-pop have a tremendous new album, an impressive array of emotional scars and a re-invigorated lust for life to discuss.’
      • ‘But he said the mental scars have proved more difficult to overcome.’
      • ‘The driver, who lives in Chiseldon but doesn't want to be identified, says the incident has left mental scars.’
      • ‘Those years I lived so close to death had left their emotional scars upon me.’
      • ‘We will carry the mental scars from Italy, but not one of those players died from them.’
      • ‘As for the supposed trauma… almost every talented psychic has mental scars.’
      • ‘She has since made a full recovery but still bears the mental scars from the accident.’
      • ‘Their traumatic experiences have left deep emotional scars and impacted on their lives enormously.’
      • ‘The mental scars were harder to bear than the physical, and it took Janine many months to recover from the trauma of the crash.’
      • ‘Some have witnessed the full atrocities of war, family break-ups or bereavement and they still carry the emotional scars.’
      • ‘Many experience ostracism from their own families during formative years, with deep emotional scars resulting.’
      trauma, damage, shock, injury, suffering, upset
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A mark left on something following damage of some kind.
      ‘Max could see scars of the blast’
      • ‘The result will be a raw scar through blasted rocks that we will have to live with for generations.’
      • ‘I followed scars posing as roads and faded tracks not shown on any map yet drawn.’
      • ‘And the crew left no telltale scars on the fragile hillsides where they had been intensely working, she says.’
      • ‘Beyond the first wells, roads and land scars gouged by tracked vehicles began accumulating.’
      • ‘Under nearly every square mile of the swamp lie these ducts, though water and vegetation have hidden their scars.’
      • ‘The obvious place to look was at scars in rocks which had been etched by the radioactive decay process.’
      • ‘Many of the scars on the summit and slopes are the result of past excavations.’
      • ‘He worries that the mule track would leave a scar on the hillside.’
      • ‘This is the sharp end of practical conservation work, literally healing the mountain of unsightly erosion scars and gullies.’
      • ‘Some scars, such as a ramp towards the summit in the south-west, were perhaps cut by the 1776 miners.’
      • ‘Channeled and rip-rapped, the creek bears similar scars from ill-conceived attempts at pruning.’
      • ‘Charlie sat down at the table, and traced its scars and stains with her eyes.’
      • ‘Sadly, that's not the case, as is shown by the scars of clearcuts and logging roads on our 191 million acres of national forests.’
      • ‘As you would expect from a new film, there are no nicks, scars, or other defects that migrated from the source print to the digital realm.’
      • ‘A programme of full restoration work was then undertaken to ensure that the exterior of the quarry would not show up as a scar on the hillside.’
      • ‘Capt White apparently walked away unharmed, but the hanger still bears the scar, a deep indentation above its heavy iron doors.’
      • ‘They are paint patches covering rocket blast scars from the political violence of mid-1997.’
      • ‘The scar created by quarrying the hillside below the Nab is visible from a wide area, but excavations are now going downwards below the level of the surrounding land.’
      • ‘Each stroke of the blade sent branches crashing into the undergrowth and gouged deep scars into the old oaks.’
      • ‘Early in the year, around the time when petals fall, the overwintered beetles cut semicircular scars in fruit as they feed.’
    3. 1.3A mark left at the point of separation of a leaf, frond, or other part from a plant.
      ‘this fossil bark is typified by its lozenge-shaped leaf scars’
      • ‘The ‘root’ is not a true root but the swollen base of the stem, and these marks are leaf scars.’
      • ‘Leaf scars, which resemble suction cups, are found on the winter twigs when the leaves fall.’
      • ‘These two parts should snap apart easily by hand and leave a clean scar on the new corm.’
  • 2A steep high cliff or rock outcrop, especially of limestone.

    ‘high limestone scars bordered the road’
    • ‘There were white geese by the water, there's a pale scar of limestone if you look back, no snow but snowdrops, and then Rievaulx.’
    • ‘The scars we moved past are striking, the limestone is angled at 45 degrees and popular with crows, patched with lichens and softened by mosses.’
    • ‘Loose rock along the scars and beaches is the best place to look - though never go too near the base of the cliffs.’
    • ‘It's great here, short turf, long views, scree, caves and stream, and parallel and looming 300 feet above, a twisted limestone scar.’
    • ‘They bring a mad burst of colour to the silver and green countryside of the Peak, with its superlush pastures, twinkly trout streams and shining limestone scars.’


  • 1 Mark with a scar or scars.

    ‘he is likely to be scarred for life after injuries to his face, arms, and legs’
    [as adjective, in combination] ‘battle-scarred troops’
    • ‘Earl is in his sixties, black, and scarred on his arms and I would assume the rest of him.’
    • ‘Wrinkled and scarred though they were, she could tell these arms were his own and that in reality he wanted them to stay that way.’
    • ‘In doing so, she was dreadfully burned and her face was permanently scarred.’
    • ‘Her face was badly scarred and she struggled to move her injured legs and arms.’
    • ‘She has confided in me that she's afraid her son has been scarred for life by his father's treatment.’
    • ‘She's slowly working through it, but mentally she will be scarred for the rest of her life.’
    • ‘But the ones who survive risk being scarred for life.’
    • ‘Some of them were truly scary, I think I've been mentally scarred.’
    • ‘Hence, it is obvious that she will be forever scarred by it.’
    • ‘As you can see, I wasn't scarred by the experience at all.’
    • ‘She said her students do not seem psychologically scarred by how she wields her pen.’
    • ‘My lungs are so badly scarred that the smallest irritant can cause me to have trouble breathing.’
    • ‘Laurence has a cool question for you: What movie scenes have horribly warped and scarred your psyche?’
    • ‘When he was eight years old, his heart tissue was permanently scarred by a serious bout with rheumatic fever.’
    • ‘One lasted barely 10 hours; some of the others seemed deeply scarred by their experiences.’
    • ‘The surface is covered with layers of nitrogen and water ice that are scarred by meteor craters.’
    • ‘Among those who returned from the war physically intact, many had been psychologically scarred.’
    • ‘There were heart-wrenching tales from families whose innocent lives he had ruined and scarred forever.’
    • ‘You've scarred my psyche.’
    • ‘Huge craters scarred the streets and Clifton airfield.’
    traumatize, damage, injure, wound
    disfigure, mark, blemish, blotch, discolour
    damage, spoil, mar, deface, injure
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object]Form or be marked with a scar.
      ‘his arm will not scar’
      ‘such lung scarring is associated with cigarette smoking’
      • ‘When asbestos fibers enter the lung, they cause the tissue to harden and scar around them.’
      • ‘You have been diagnosed by your physician as having one of the many diseases which can cause interstitial pulmonary fibrosis or what we call lung scarring.’
      • ‘The scarring on my left arm was so severe that I had to wear an elastic burn sleeve for more than a year to help repair it.’
      • ‘This may lead to scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis).’
      • ‘This leads to a continual inflammatory process causing scarring of the lung tissue.’
      • ‘None had lung disease such as emphysema, lung scarring or asthma.’
      • ‘His arm felt - and looked, except for some minor scarring - perfectly fine.’
      • ‘Use of the new product had significantly improved the level of healing and reduced the unsightly scarring associated with bad burn injuries.’
      • ‘After we leave our skin problems behind in adolescence, a new set follows in adulthood: wrinkles, mild scarring and blemishes, and conditions caused by sun exposure, smoking and heredity traits.’
      • ‘All of these can cause the inflammation and scarring associated with BPD, even in a full-term newborn, or very rarely, in older infants and children.’
      • ‘The warning follows a High Court test case involving ten people from around the country who suffered pleural plaques - scarring of the lungs - through exposure to asbestos dust.’
      • ‘Less common causes of breathing problems are lung cancer, a blood clot in the lungs, air leakage around the lungs, and scarring of the lung tissue.’
      • ‘Three main diseases are related to asbestos: asbestosis, or lung scarring, lung cancer and mesothelioma, or cancer of the lining of the chest or abdomen.’
      • ‘These babies develop fluid in the lungs, scarring and lung damage, which can be seen on an X-ray.’
      • ‘He has scarring from burns on his face, chest, and arms, but those have healed quite well, and certainly aren't the cause of his problems now.’
      • ‘Sometimes called chronic lung disease or CLD, it's a disease in infants characterized by inflammation and scarring in the lungs.’
      • ‘The case centred around pleural plaques, a benign condition which causes scarring to the lung lining and which is caused by exposure to asbestos.’
      • ‘Examination of other organs, including the brain, showed only old scarring of the middle lobe of the right lung.’
      • ‘She needed surgery, and, nearly a decade later, still takes painkillers for the injury, which also left her with severe scarring on her right arm.’
      • ‘The disease involves scarring of the lung, which causes an irreversible loss of the tissue's ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.’


Late Middle English: from Old French escharre, via late Latin from Greek eskhara scab.