Definition of scrab in English:



[with object]Northern Irish
  • Scratch or scrape (something)

    ‘with the other hand I scrabbed his face’
    no object figurative ‘the police desperately scrab for leads’
    • ‘She tried to grab me and was scrabbing the neck off me.’
    • ‘He yanked the girl's tie, scrabbed her face, and shoved her.’
    • ‘She used her nails to scrab an officer.’
    • ‘I managed to scrab and kicked out, so at least one of them must have bruises or marks.’
    • ‘That poem is about picking blackberries, reaching on and on, with your hands all scrabbed.’
    • ‘Rats and mice give off a strong ammonia smell and are often noisy making scrabbing noises when they are present.’


Northern Irish
  • An injury or mark caused by scratching.

    ‘she had scrabs on her back’
    • ‘He first blamed a cat for the scrab marks down his face.’
    • ‘The victim was found to have gashes and scrabs on her back.’
    • ‘The woman was not only threatened but was left with scrape and scrab marks.’
    • ‘She had suffered "a black eye and bruising all over my body" as well as "scrabs all over my neck".’
    • ‘His neck had "three or four scrabs on it".’


Late 15th century: from Dutch schrabben ‘to scrape’; related to scrabble and scrape.