Definition of scabby in US English:



  • 1Covered in scabs.

    ‘her fingers were worn and scabby’
    figurative ‘they raced across the scabby grass down to the mill’
    • ‘She whimpers as she undoes the bandages completely, revealing a scabby slice the length of her thumb.’
    • ‘Most feature anomalously crude draftsmanship, scabby surfaces and flat-footed figuration.’
    • ‘The boy was wearing some black board shorts, showing off the child's scabby knees.’
    • ‘Feeding by the chigger creates scabby, reddish lesions that require two to three weeks to heal after the engorged mites leave the bird.’
    • ‘She's standing alone, stringy hair, corduroy skirt, scabby legs sprouting out of Roman sandals.’
    • ‘In a childish moment I picked the scab from my football knee (footballers who play on AstroTurf always have scabby knees) dark red blood flowed down my leg.’
    • ‘Later, after touching down on the scabby tarmac, I skated through Customs in Lima.’
    • ‘A soapy solution was rubbed all over my scabby, bruised and burnt fingers leaving me with a relaxed sensation you wouldn't have believed possible in this part of your body.’
    • ‘It has, what looks like a perfectly normal little brown bud but when the sex organs emerge, instead of petals coming out the little scabby petal like structures just drop to the ground.’
    • ‘Scalp - as long as it is not scabby, shiny or beneath a comb-over - can be stylish, intelligent, tough and modern.’
    • ‘He reached out a scabby, bandaged hand and patted my shoulder.’
    • ‘She guides your hand to touch the scabby scar that snakes across her head.’
    • ‘The waiting area teemed with children wiping runny noses and scratching scabby skin and adults hacking with chest-rattling coughs.’
    • ‘Details surface in the untouched snaps - stretch marks, scabby knees, boob jobs - and so do the posturings, poses and projections behind the sexual self.’
    • ‘He then proceeded to roll up his trouser leg and show me his very scabby leg.’
    • ‘If soils drain rapidly or become cool, infected plants often recover, but still may be distorted or produce superficial, scabby lesions.’
    • ‘And while you might pet a stray dog and accidentally touch a scabby sore or some other yuck, the rabies fears seemed unsubstantiated and the cities haven't taken to rounding up the lot for the public safety.’
    • ‘So I used to go to interviews looking like I had been sleeping under London Bridge - you know, pale, scabby old clothes, interesting, artistic.’
    • ‘I'm just finding it a little difficult to assess because anything scabby with that much fur tends to look much worse than it probably is.’
    • ‘Francis Upritchard's scabby shrunken heads are disgustingly ugly - bruised, green skin, old teeth, yucky dandruffy hair.’
    scaly, scabious, diseased
    View synonyms
  • 2Irish Scottish informal Loathsome; despicable.

    ‘you thought that scabby creep was cute?’
    • ‘And any time a big speech is needed, they just haul out the scabby guy.’
    • ‘It just exists to keep guitar sales up and basements full of scabby punks pissing their days away into a bucket marked ‘excess’.’
    • ‘You could argue that they are just misunderstood, but let's face it - They are scabby gits.’
    • ‘When Mickey's body is found, half eaten by dogs, things take a more serious turn, at least for Jill, and the suspects, older literary types, who tend to be pompous and full of their own self importance, are a scabby bunch.’