Definition of scab in English:

scab

noun

  • 1A dry, rough protective crust that forms over a cut or wound during healing.

    • ‘Patients are considered contagious and should remain in quarantine until all scabs separate.’
    • ‘Once the scab heals, there is no longer any danger of transmission.’
    • ‘I would just have scars once the scabs healed over, Mal would have serious problems for the rest of her life.’
    • ‘Replaying breakup or accident scenes heightens their sentimental power, akin to repeatedly ripping the scab off a wound.’
    • ‘Women should therefore actively avoid becoming pregnant for at least four weeks after vaccination and until the scab has completely healed and fallen off.’
    • ‘They weren't only black and blue, they were whipped, and their wounds were full of scabs, cracked and bleeding.’
    • ‘The blister wall breaks, leaving open sores, which finally crust over to become dry, brown scabs.’
    • ‘As this mesh dries, it hardens and forms a scab to protect the wound as it heals.’
    • ‘Her back was covered with scabs and wounds, her face black and blue, arms swollen, palms branded with a hot spoon.’
    • ‘This causes a scab or crust to form over the wound site, which impedes healing.’
    • ‘A scab formed over the wound after 2 days, and the wound healed completely within 2 weeks.’
    • ‘The scab on the wound eventually sloughs off, exposing a regenerated area of the skin.’
    • ‘It is useful in quickly treating minor food poisoning and can be used to heal scabs and scratches.’
    • ‘An infected person can transmit it from one to two days before the rash develops, and until the rash stops spreading and is covered by dry scabs (generally 5 days after the onset of the rash).’
    • ‘He has played until his fingers blistered, the blisters burst, the wounds scabbed and the scabs formed calluses.’
    • ‘A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs.’
    • ‘When you are scraped or wounded you form a scab, an ugly protective covering, until healthy skin can grow again.’
    • ‘The dressings can be used as soon as the scab falls off a wound and should be worn every day for two to four months.’
    • ‘Vaccinees are infectious from about the third day after vaccine receipt until the scab falls off, which may take three to four weeks.’
    • ‘Do not touch the eyes after touching blisters and scabs.’
    covering, layer, coating, cover, coat, sheet, thickness, film, skin
    View synonyms
  • 2Mange or a similar skin disease in animals.

    • ‘The state was also called in to deal with stock disease, especially scab - a major constraint on wool production.’
    • ‘It is a Government requirement that farmers dip their sheep to prevent scab.’
    • ‘Copperas was used as an eye ointment during the medieval period, to treat scab in sheep, and later (presumably in small quantities) as a laxative.’
    • ‘The disappointing turnout was probably due to the regulations which restricted sheep movements in a bid to prevent scab.’
    1. 2.1usually with modifier Any of a number of fungal diseases of plants in which rough patches develop, especially on apples and potatoes.
      • ‘Since there is a potential mycotoxin threat with scab, growers should determine if scab is present in their fields.’
      • ‘Furthermore, early harvesting of grain can reduce the effects of diseases like scab, which increase with delayed harvest.’
      • ‘Even though scab and powdery mildew are very different diseases, when you spray for scab, you also prevent powdery mildew.’
      • ‘Some of the city's 3,000 Manchester poplars have been infected with the mysterious disease, commonly known as black scab.’
      • ‘How and why Venturia, commonly known as black scab, has spread in Manchester is still a mystery.’
      • ‘The diseases are apple scab, powdery mildew, and cedar-apple rust.’
      • ‘These fungi are notorious for causing a disease called scab, or Fusarium head blight, in grains such as wheat and barley, as well as ear and stalk rot of corn.’
      • ‘This is the pathogen that causes scab - the most devastating disease of wheat and barley to date.’
      • ‘Someday these fungi may be applied as a seed coating to make plants better fit to resist scab as they approach maturity.’
      • ‘Especially where scab is evident in the field, the combine should be set for maximum cleaning, with higher blower speeds to remove the small shriveled diseased kernels.’
      • ‘Diseases like Stagonospora glume blotch and Fusarium head scab, which occur on wheat heads late in the growing season, can severely affect the seed.’
      • ‘Apple scab is a fungal disease that causes black splotches on leaves and fruit.’
      • ‘Fusarium head scab is common in Ohio wheat fields when rain persists through the flowering period of the crop.’
      • ‘Wheat that is resistant to the scab fungus in Europe and America is devoured by scab in Asia, where wetter climates make life harder for the wheat and easier for scab.’
      • ‘Apple trees are commonly attacked by a fungal disease called apple scab.’
      • ‘Another issue is a particular variety's vulnerability to common diseases such as scab or fire blight.’
      • ‘But once established, scab can be a season-long problem.’
      • ‘Insect pests still require spraying in most areas, but apples are mainly sprayed to prevent disease, primarily scab.’
      • ‘Most important in Ohio is resistance to powdery mildew, Stagonospora leaf blotch, and head scab.’
      • ‘The potential for disease is great because Gibberella zeae, the fungus that causes stalk rot in corn, also causes head scab in wheat.’
  • 3informal A person or thing regarded with dislike and disgust.

    1. 3.1derogatory A person who refuses to strike or to join a labor union or who takes over the job responsibilities of a striking worker.
      • ‘A picket line was a picket line and anyone who crossed it was a scab.’
      • ‘Striking women, many of them in their teens, formed picket lines outside their workplaces, trying to convince the scabs to join them.’
      • ‘They threaten to strike, create picket lines you can't cross, retaliate against scabs, and all the rest.’
      • ‘The scabs declared that going on strike would not change the problems with work.’
      • ‘Industrialists struggling against labor unions often exploited the new immigrants, making them scabs during worker strikes.’
      • ‘A battle between scabs and strikers on the third led to the police killing four strikers.’
      • ‘Moira was aware that her unwillingness to categorise men breaking the strike as simply scabs, but to see them as well as ‘somebody's husbands and fathers’, was unusual and unpopular.’
      • ‘It was necessary for the students to separate former strikers from others (some of them former scabs, some just new employees), as a good deal of turnover appeared to have taken place.’
      • ‘It has broken a lot of people up… to me, a scab is one who worked all through the strike but these ones that went back three weeks before the strike ended, I don't think they're scabs.’
      • ‘He further glosses over the controversial use of scabs during the 1987 strike.’
      • ‘Many bridges were blocked by demonstrators, and taxicabs and buses driven by scabs were damaged by strikers.’
      • ‘At one point in time, Jackie considers becoming a scab and crashing through the picket lines.’
      • ‘And that's the issue that's been lost in this whole campaign Workers being sacked and replaced by casual labour and scabs.’
      • ‘Assaults on scabs increased and strikers tried to pull clerks out of shops, the Post Office, the Telephone Exchange and Park Station.’
      • ‘Casting amateur actors in these shows is tantamount to using scabs in the midst of a strike, and acting in one of these shows is akin to crossing a picket line.’
      • ‘I talked to a gentle, softly spoken miner about the strike, the police and the scabs.’
      • ‘The government will say that the ACTU has passed a motion condemning criminal conduct so it should also condemn workers standing on a picket line refusing to let scabs in because that's criminal conduct.’
      • ‘Paid less than whites for comparable jobs, they were regarded by white workers as union busters and scabs.’
      • ‘The film is very moving, in the midst of the miners' struggle showing the town's division between strikers and the scabs alongside the troubled youth's difficulties in coming of age.’
      • ‘The newspapers, in full swing of yellow journalism, want to see violence in the yards between the scabs and the striking workers, but there is no violence.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1usually as adjective scabbedBecome encrusted or covered with a scab or scabs.

    ‘she rested her scabbed fingers on his arm’
    • ‘The cut over his eye was half-healed and scabbed over, as were almost all of the wounds covering his body but they would be a long time healing in full.’
    • ‘Ingram turned and displayed the wound on the back of his own neck: twin half ovals made of pointed red punctures that had begun to scab over.’
    • ‘In this body again, holes in my hands, brow scratched and scabbing over, feet still a bloody mess, I almost feel at home.’
    • ‘His face was marred by five deep claw marks down the left cheek that were scabbed over, but once the wounds healed they would undoubtedly leave scars.’
    • ‘Indeed, the cuts that my mother's murderer had made in my flesh were now scabbed over thickly, dark green splotches against my belly's tan hide and bronze scale.’
    • ‘I was happy when I didn't see any new cuts, but I did notice some of his older ones were scabbing up.’
    • ‘He has played until his fingers blistered, the blisters burst, the wounds scabbed and the scabs formed calluses.’
    • ‘By dinner time my hands were sore and swollen, my fingers were bloody and scabbed and my back was going to fall off.’
    • ‘All of the blisters should be scabbed before they go back.’
    • ‘And there were others that had been scabbed over, and still others that looked from weeks past.’
    • ‘The burn was scabbed and dark, about the size of an egg yolk.’
    • ‘Still, his back was scabbed over, and the wound on his thigh was progressing tolerably well.’
    • ‘The infection is contagious until the mouth sores are gone and blisters are scabbed over.’
    • ‘A wound on her leg had been scabbed over and was extremely tender, and her head pounded and thumped with an ugly ache.’
    • ‘Most had badly scabbed and scaly feet and ankles due to a lack of clean water, proper bathing facilities or shoes.’
    • ‘Callahan's knuckles were scabbed, all cracked and red and throbbing dully when she paid attention to them.’
    • ‘His shoulder was still bandaged and his lip was heavily scabbed, but color had begun to return to his cheeks after a good night's rest.’
    • ‘From what he had seen already, her arm had been covered with gashes, some more serious than others, close up he saw the dirt and blood scabbing.’
    • ‘By the end of the second week after the rash appears, most of the sores have scabbed over.’
    • ‘He had a small wound over the right pectoral area that was scabbed but not infected.’
  • 2Act or work as a scab.

    • ‘Negotiations proceeded on a no-ring, no-deal basis, and any girl who scabbed for lower pay and conditions soon felt pressure from the union.’
    • ‘Australia Post angered unionists by bringing in supervisors and their families to scab on the strike.’
    • ‘On the first strike day four local drivers scabbed, but by the second day that was down to only two.’
    • ‘Only a tiny number of people scabbed from the outset, just for the sake of it.’
    • ‘Men who scabbed in the 1926 General Strike were never forgotten or forgiven even to this day and the very mention invokes anger among the old miners.’

Origin

Middle English (as a noun): from Old Norse skabb; related to dialect shab (compare with shabby). The sense ‘contemptible person’ (dating from the late 16th century) was probably influenced by Middle Dutch schabbe ‘slut’.

Pronunciation

scab

/skæb//skab/