Main definitions of scour in US English:

: scour1scour2

scour1

verb

[with object]
  • 1Clean or brighten the surface of (something) by rubbing it hard, typically with an abrasive or detergent.

    ‘he scoured the bathtub’
    • ‘In the past, tooth-whitening products consisted of mild abrasives and detergents that were designed to scour the teeth and remove stains from the surface.’
    • ‘Soak the filters in hot soapy water, then scour them with salt or baking soda and rinse thoroughly.’
    • ‘Mild abrasives are used to scour pots and pans, oven interiors, and drip pans.’
    • ‘The chain mail had begun to rust, despite her attempts to scour it clean, and the cotton undershirt was stained and getting a bit rank.’
    • ‘Untinned copper is traditionally used in ‘preserving pans’ for making jam, which should be well scoured before use.’
    • ‘One woman admitted she cleans her skirting boards with cotton buds, while another scoured the kitchen floor with steel wool for hours on end.’
    • ‘To freshen the disposal, pour baking soda on your scrub brush and scour the inside.’
    • ‘Utensils, pots, counters are scoured clean as soon as they are used.’
    • ‘Likewise the tires must be properly scoured to remove deep down grime and small particles it came contact with on the road.’
    • ‘For grease build-up, soak pots in very hot water with detergent; then scour them with soap-filled steel wool pad.’
    • ‘Similarly, campers can scour plates clean with mud, ash, or riverside moss, then rinse and dry them in the sun.’
    • ‘He stopped scouring the floor and looked up at me, ‘Amazingly, cleaning helps me get my mind off of being self-destructive.’’
    scrub, rub, clean, wash, cleanse, wipe
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Remove (dirt or unwanted matter) by rubbing with an abrasive or detergent.
      ‘use an electric toothbrush to scour off plaque’
      no object ‘I've spent all day mopping and scouring’
      • ‘Do not scour off the seasoned finish built up on cast iron over long use.’
    2. 1.2 (of water or a watercourse) make (a channel or pool) by flowing forcefully over something and removing soil or rock.
      ‘a stream came crashing through a narrow cavern to scour out a round pool below’
      • ‘Back then, the cataclysmic flood waters in the region scoured away the soils of Eastern Washington and carried house-sized boulders from Montana as far away as Oregon.’
      • ‘As the tides push and suck at the shores, glaciers gnaw at mountains and rivers scour gaping canyons out of gullies, one sees plain evidence of the earth's state of continual transition.’
      • ‘There was enough flow to scour out and maintain the channels in the lower river so that when the flood comes it can handle it.’
      • ‘These underwater rock piles run perpendicular from shore toward the channel to divert water to help scour the channel.’
      • ‘The water flow has scoured deep pools underneath the trees, creating excellent cover habitat for fish.’
      • ‘This weekend's spring tides might help scour out the bank of sand and restore a semblance of tidal passage.’
      • ‘The glacier scoured away all the rock above the Portland brownstone leaving a mantle of glacial till.’
      • ‘He reasoned that the water and spray had scoured away the soft shale, leaving the overhanging ledge of hard limestone.’
      • ‘After a big rain, a rush of water down nude valley hills scours away the top-soil.’
      • ‘The channels were probably scoured by storms and filled with shells removed from inner platform settings.’
  • 2archaic Administer a strong purgative to.

noun

  • 1The action of scouring or the state of being scoured, especially by swift-flowing water.

    • ‘Unlike the bows there is no scour here and the depth is a level 40m.’
    • ‘Ice scour is a major structuring force in nearshore marine benthic Antarctic communities.’
    • ‘These have become eroded in places, truncating the reflectors and producing scour around obstructions.’
    • ‘Some remedial work to prevent scour and undermining of the foundations was carried out during the last century to the new bridge but it is now showing signs of wear.’
    • ‘Beneath the bow, the seabed is again deepened by a tidal scour to 46m.’
    • ‘Unlike the stern, the seabed at the bow is at 34m, with virtually no scour.’
    • ‘The Sound is protected from ice scour by a string of offshore islands.’
    • ‘On the margin of the channelled scour, the fill deposits pinch out leaving only a bioclastic lag of oysters and pectinids.’
    • ‘We now understand that this testifies to the recurring disturbance that these habitats receive from fluctuating water levels, fire, ice scour and storms.’
    1. 1.1in singular An act of rubbing something hard to clean or brighten it.
      ‘give the floor a good scour’
  • 2Diarrhea in livestock, especially cattle and pigs.

    • ‘E.Coli causes a straw yellow type scour in calves one to four days old.’
    • ‘Control of scour is often done through use of electrolytes to prevent dehydration.’
    • ‘Rotavirus is responsible for up to half of all scours in calves.’
    • ‘Where there has previously been an outbreak of scour on a farm, cows may be vaccinated to help boost immunity of the calf.’
    • ‘Increased incidence of calf scours over the period studied corresponded with increases in calf WW.’
    • ‘If you have problems with scour ask your vet about the steps you can take to prevent it in your herd.’
    • ‘Cows can be vaccinated against rotavirus and the other organisms that cause scour, passing the protection on to their calves via colostrum and milk.’
    • ‘The major impact of calf scours is the economic loss to the ranch operation.’
    • ‘We always find that feeding a lot of dairy ration caused scour in the calf, whereas if the ration is used as part of the daily diet there is no problem.’
    • ‘Good farmyard management and cleanliness can control scour, and early and rapid treatment are essential once an outbreak occurs.’
    • ‘One of the key issues facing cattle farmers heading into the Spring is that of scour.’
    • ‘It is the most important way to prevent scours and virus problems.’

Origin

Middle English: from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German schūren, from Old French escurer, from late Latin excurare ‘clean (off)’, from ex- ‘away’ + curare ‘to clean’.

Pronunciation

scour

/ˈskou(ə)r//ˈskaʊ(ə)r/

Main definitions of scour in US English:

: scour1scour2

scour2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Subject (a place, text, etc.) to a thorough search in order to locate something.

    ‘David scoured each newspaper for an article on the murder’
    • ‘I'm still scouring through the record bins of old farmers who have died.’
    • ‘Having scoured Europe for a suitable estate with water frontage, they had bought Ballynatray ‘on its last legs’ according to one conservation expert.’
    • ‘I've been scouring the bins for a clean version of this for years.’
    • ‘A plane has joined the search as police scour the thinly-wooded land for the gunman and for any sign of the missing tourist.’
    • ‘I've scoured through the last chapter and have changed all the mistakes I could find.’
    • ‘Since many of the traditional black-glazed roof tiles broke in the quake, contractors had to scour other disused Japanese buildings for replacements.’
    • ‘Fund managers are constantly scouring the UK for companies with steadily rising earnings-per-share and smaller companies with access to ground-breaking new technologies.’
    • ‘If necessary scour Europe for the best restoration brains to reverse this destruction.’
    • ‘The newly minted label heralds itself as a label that scours the globe in search of the best electronic music producers and artists.’
    • ‘Jack looked up, his eyes scouring over the many cones and dozens of police-men scattered around the area.’
    • ‘Around 30 officers scoured the murder scene for clues and carried out door-to-door enquiries in the area.’
    • ‘One baby site advises that you get down on the baby's level and scour the floor for anything he could see.’
    • ‘Anya resumed scouring the floor for her missing shoe, walking with a stumping gait.’
    • ‘Shake up your menu occasionally, and scour supermarket shelves for flavorful extras.’
    • ‘Forensic teams were yesterday scouring the area for clues, while detectives conducted house to house interviews.’
    • ‘Concentrating harder, he scoured the playground, trying to find out where and who the voice was coming from.’
    • ‘It seems the girls are having a much harder time of it, scouring the shops of Edinburgh for the perfect frock.’
    • ‘A rescue helicopter was scrambled to help search teams to scour the area, which is one of the sparsely populated places in Britain.’
    • ‘By torch light we scour the walls, scribbling down our answers, working silently.’
    • ‘The documentary team has scoured the region for the most unusual stories on heritage, lifestyle and history and they've come up with a treasure trove of the bizarre and unusual.’
    search, comb, hunt through, rummage through, sift through, go through with a fine-tooth comb, root through, rake through, leave no stone unturned, mine, look all over, look high and low in
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object , with adverbial of direction Move rapidly in a particular direction, especially in search or pursuit of someone or something.
      ‘he scoured up the ladder’
      • ‘Surely a tower of bone that looks as though it could touch the sun itself, would be noticeable to one of the many search parties that had scoured through this land.’

Origin

Late Middle English: related to obsolete scour ‘moving hastily’, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

scour

/ˈskou(ə)r//ˈskaʊ(ə)r/