Definition of scram in English:



  • 1[no object, usually in imperative] Leave or go away from a place quickly.

    ‘get out of here, you miserable wretches—scram!’
    • ‘Well, I advise you two to scram before you get hurt.’
    • ‘So we just hang out here and scram when a teacher comes by.’
    • ‘He scrammed, and I watched him leave with relief.’
    • ‘‘Now scram,’ slurred the voice with a mobster accent.’
    • ‘He just saved this girl and now she's telling him to scram?’
    • ‘They would have to scram before the government launched a campaign against them.’
    • ‘They wanted five months' rent up front and promised just 60 days' notice in the event they wanted us to scram.’
    • ‘If you don't want me to call the police you'd better scram.’
    • ‘I nodded her away, praying that she'd take the hint and scram.’
    • ‘He hollered, scram if our know what's good for you, and I ran fast.’
    • ‘His enlightened philosophy was either improve business or scram.’
    • ‘He plans the crime, he breaks in, bypasses security and scrams with the paintings… only to have his van run out of petrol.’
    • ‘Connie, go tell those kids to scram, will you?’
    • ‘I had to spend seven rupees on you - give my money back and get the hell out of my house - scram!’
    • ‘The man rolled his eyes, ‘All right, take it and scram, and don't tell anyone I let you off.’’
    • ‘He climbed up the steps three at a time, gave a hasty good-bye to my dear relatives, told me he'd meet me at the hotel, and quickly scrammed.’
    • ‘Aurora would very much like to tell him to scram but she really did need his help.’
    • ‘I ordered him to scram, under the pretense of changing into warmer clothes.’
    • ‘He was starting to tell me when and where to meet him when you came skipping past and I told you to scram, remember that?’
    • ‘You guys have ten seconds to scram before I come after you with a sledge hammer!’
    go away, depart, leave, take yourself off, take off, get out, get out of my sight
    go, go your way, get going, get moving, move off, be off, set off, set out, start out, make a start, take your leave, decamp, duck out, take wing, walk out, walk off, absent yourself
    be off with you!, shoo!
    hit the road, fly, skedaddle, split, vamoose, scat, make yourself scarce, be on one's way, run along, beat it, get, get lost, push off, shove off, buzz off, clear off, skip off, pop off, go jump in the lake, go and jump in the lake
    on your bike!, go and chase yourself!
    get along, push along, get stuffed, sling your hook, hop it, hop the stick, hop the twig, bog off, naff off
    bug off, light out, haul off, haul ass, take a powder, hit the trail, take a hike
    nick off
    rack off
    voetsak, hamba
    bugger off, piss off, fuck off
    sod off
    begone, avaunt
    View synonyms
  • 2[with object] Shut down (a nuclear reactor) in an emergency.


  • The emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor.

    ‘the power plant was cited for its high rate of scrams over the past year’
    • ‘Both the number of safety-system activations and scrams are about one tenth of what they were in 1985.’


Early 20th century: probably from the verb scramble.