One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verbscudded, scuds, scudding
1no object, with adverbial of direction Move fast in a straight line because or as if driven by the wind.‘we lie watching the clouds scudding across the sky’‘three small ships were scudding before a brisk breeze’
speed, race, sail, streak, shoot, sweep, skim, whip, whizz, whoosh, buzz, zoom, flash, blast, careerView synonyms
- ‘With the full moon scudding between the clouds, it felt like the inside of a music box.’
- ‘Lately he had become an indolent sea-bather idly scudding in the tepid shallows.’
- ‘What remains as a memory, though the colour has bled away, is the fast scudding of clouds, and the rush of sound over my head, the wind in the trees: as if the waters of life have begun to flow.’
- ‘Clouds scudding across a starry sky are reflected in a weed-choked river.’
- ‘Cold alpine gusts sweep the skyscape, sending the scudding clouds adrift.’
- ‘The moon must have been up for there was a dim glimmer among the clouds scudding to the east.’
- ‘And the steel giants keep scudding along their way to find their death in the continuing conflict with each other.’
- ‘The moon was almost full, with wisps of cloud scudding across its face, so there was enough light for me to see where I was going.’
- ‘She looked upward, and witnessed several small clouds scudding across the sky, as if bent on a happy errand as she was herself.’
- ‘Beneath the skylarks and the scudding clouds, no more than a conversation between people and chalk grass, this was a war memorial I could understand.’
- ‘In traditional monopolies, prices are pushed up, and quality/innovation comes scudding down.’
- ‘A squadron of pelicans scuds toward the distant white lighthouse.’
- ‘A small ray scuds across it like a bird in slow flight.’
- ‘On the back of her chestnut pony she ranged alone over the hills around Nomentum, with hares scudding away from her through the rough grass, and hawks sailing high over her head.’
- ‘The clouds were scudding along the tops of the peaks, and the sky was bruised a deep purple.’
- ‘Thursday brightened into an overcast, showery day with belts of dark and paler grey cloud scudding across the sky.’
- ‘Just the sort of food to help us enjoy the scudding clouds, bracing winds and refreshing rain.’
- ‘As we battled against the wind, the scudding clouds suddenly parted to reveal a dazzling sunlit glimpse of the cone, unbelievably close, in staggering golden 3D.’
- ‘The enormous, cold blue sky is filled with scudding clouds.’
- ‘Sunlight broke through the clouds, islands of light scudding across the countryside.’
- ‘Her opponent would send the ball scudding across the net.’
2Scottish with object Slap, beat, or spank.‘she scudded me across the head’
1literary A mass of vapoury clouds or spray driven fast by the wind.‘the water is glassy under a scud of mist’mass noun ‘the picturesque shoreline disappeared into low-cloud scud and rain’
- 1.1 A driving shower of rain or snow; a gust.‘scuds of rain gave way to sun’
- ‘It was still memorable to see the shifting shadows and scuds of rain across the lake and the green volcanic hills - and it all lit up with sunshine and breathtaking scenery on the final day.’
- 1.2mass noun The action of moving fast in a straight line when driven by the wind.‘the scud of the clouds before the wind’
- 1.1 A driving shower of rain or snow; a gust.
2A type of long-range surface-to-surface guided missile able to be fired from a mobile launcher.
- ‘Let's all admit it right up front: We'd like to see that guy launched through the bar's window like a human Scud missile.’
- ‘Military personnel may have had contact with hydrazines and nitric acid when they disarmed or disposed of Scud missiles or were downwind of a missile explosion.’
- ‘During the same period, Russian specialists announced the sale of an advanced Scud missile with an optical guidance capability that would achieve greater accuracy during its terminal stage of flight.’
- ‘I just don't think people are going to, you know, get in the mine shaft and fall between the slats and say here's a Scud missile and here's the weapon of mass destruction.’
- ‘Because the Scud missile tended to breakup during the final phase of its trajectory (re-entry into the atmosphere), multiple targets would appear on the radar screen.’
Mid 16th century (as a verb): perhaps an alteration of the noun scut, thus reflecting the sense ‘race like a hare’.
nounPlural scudsin phrase in the scud" or "scuddy
(of a person) naked.
- ‘Mary and her husband Dave first sampled the joys of disporting themselves in the scud on the beaches of Ibiza and decided to attempt to replicate the liberating experience in Scotland.’
Early 19th century: of uncertain origin.
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