Definition of scratchy in US English:



  • 1(especially of a fabric or garment) having a rough, uncomfortable texture and tending to cause itching or discomfort.

    • ‘She rolled over on her thin pallet, on the bottom bunk, pulling her scratchy military-issue blanket tighter around her.’
    • ‘I was greeted by grey bleakness and a scratchy woolen blanket and a hard wooden floor.’
    • ‘Scared out of my wits, dressed all in shimmering white fabric and scratchy yet beautiful white lace, I felt all alone in the foreign country of England.’
    • ‘It itched and felt dry and scratchy against his skin.’
    • ‘‘It's broken,’ she whispered, finally breaking her gaze with Chris, plucking at the scratchy blanket on the bed.’
    • ‘The good news is that today's sexy lingerie is no longer uncomfortable, scratchy and unpractical.’
    • ‘Did you know that sacking-like scratchy large-weave fabric with vaguely hairy fibres, the stuff they put on display screens and trendy flower arrangements, is called Hessian?’
    • ‘Nicole embraced Kim tightly, the mesh sleeves of her black shirt scratchy against Kim's arms.’
    • ‘Andy and I sat on the edge of the dock, dangling our legs into the water with the rough, scratchy boards underneath us and the sun blazing down from above.’
    • ‘It was originally covered in scratchy brown fabric.’
    • ‘The scratchy blankets were tucked around her, and Robert was spooned behind her against the wall.’
    • ‘The skirt was made of a scratchy woollen mohair beneath a satin bodice.’
    • ‘Some wools are scratchy giving some people the idea that they are ‘allergic’ to wool.’
    • ‘Rose's fingers were numb from the cold, white with sharply marked red tips, and they stung bitterly as she dug them into his scratchy coat.’
    • ‘Avoid wearing clothes made out of scratchy materials like wool.’
    • ‘The salt water he had used to clean off the worst of the gunk made his clothing stiff and scratchy.’
    • ‘‘Check to see if your guitar is in there,’ I laughed, grabbing the thick, scratchy wool blanket off the couch.’
    • ‘She disappeared for a moment, reappearing with scratchy woollen blankets.’
    • ‘The rough prison blanket had felt scratchy through his regulation pyjamas.’
    • ‘She would have given anything to get out of her painful tan heels, white knee-length dress, and scratchy light brown hat and put on some torn jeans and tennis shoes.’
    1. 1.1 (of a voice or sound) rough; grating.
      ‘she dropped her voice to a scratchy whisper’
      • ‘The singer's scratchy voice and world-weary acoustic songs are nastily refreshing, and his lyrics are positively bewitching.’
      • ‘‘Much,’ was the answer, but Stef's voice was still scratchy, and didn't sound much like him at all.’
      • ‘His scratchy voice was meant to sing blues, though, and he'd sound like he was singing the blues no matter what type of music he's singing.’
      • ‘‘Great outfit,’ Joey said disguising his voice with scratchy sounds.’
      • ‘‘C'mere horsey,’ the woman called in a harsh, scratchy voice.’
      • ‘Her regularly soft voice is scratchy, disclosing the unspoken knowledge of sleepless nights and drowsy days.’
      • ‘You could tell because his voice is very scratchy from all the smoking he did in his youth.’
      • ‘‘Sire, phase one of the plan is completed,’ the monster snarled in his scratchy voice.’
      • ‘‘I look forward to it, then,’ came a soft and scratchy voice from behind.’
      • ‘The reporter, in his scratchy voice, asked her to retell her story.’
      • ‘The father asked in a scratchy voice, ‘Why was I not told of this?’’
      • ‘While I sat up all night in fear of a cracker-nibbling rat, trying to watch TV and ignore the ludicrously loud scratchy noises, I was contemplating my happiness.’
      • ‘After he chewed it for a few moments, Frank said in a deep, scratchy voice, ‘Thank you!’’
      • ‘It was a really long song, and his singing voice was scratchy and cracked every few seconds.’
      • ‘Music and lights and laughter, scratchy laughter that even in its ugliness sounded happier than mine.’
      • ‘‘Water please,’ she managed to say in a scratchy voice.’
      • ‘When he talks his voice is scratchy and foreign to me.’
      • ‘Her voice was still scratchy from sleep though.’
      • ‘She hands me the cell phone and a small, scratchy voice apologizes but says that after a trip to the doctor and a chance to revive, she will see me at her home.’
      • ‘He winced, still recalling her scratchy laughter and screeching voice.’
      harsh, strident, screeching, squawky, squawking, sharp, grating, discordant, dissonant, inharmonious, unmelodious, jarring, brassy
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    2. 1.2 (of a record) making a crackling or rough sound because of scratches on the surface.
      • ‘When I was a kid in the fifties, the whole of our primary school would gather on the lawn while a bugle played off a scratchy record and the Head read the obligatory poem.’
      • ‘We had a few scratchy records, a disco deck, a microphone, a small transmitter and a desire in our hearts to try to create something that people would be proud of.’
      • ‘This new collection manages to refresh some scratchy old records, but also to bring home the inherent power of the blues to entertain.’
      • ‘Previously, many people had marvelled at the fact that using a steel needle, a revolving table and a horn you could hear a scratchy and very constrained recording of music or song.’
      • ‘None of the members of the band knew the instrument firsthand; Mr. Richmond learned how to play it from scratchy old records.’
      • ‘I was recording the analog noise between tracks on a scratchy old copy of Karl Muck conducting Parzifal with the Bayreuth Festival Chorus onto a cassette tape.’
      • ‘Until reintroduced by the CJB, we had to scrounge in Salvation Army Stores and junk shops searching for scratchy old copies of original recordings.’
      • ‘I tried to get a number for Gallo through a record company that released some scratchy, self-indulgent folk albums of his.’
      • ‘My parents also flinched when I put on my scratchy gramophone records of German symphonies, and prepared for complaints from the neighbours.’
      • ‘Skipping over the scratchy part, she began to sing with the record, her voice throaty, a low rasp.’
      • ‘The only copy I had of the album was an old tattered cassette I recorded from my college radio station's scratchy vinyl copy.’
      • ‘Medicine was hard, and he should work at it hard instead of fooling about learning to dance or listening to opera on scratchy expensive records.’
      • ‘The songs on the album were all scratchy, new-wavey and sounded like they had been recorded in an upturned tin bath.’
      • ‘I bought Toast 4.0 for the Mac, since it's good for cleaning up old scratchy records and transferring them to CDs.’
      • ‘When he started preproduction for the project, he scoured music shops around New York, buying every scratchy old record he could find.’
      • ‘He was inspired to try his hand at poetry in high school, when he bought a scratchy Dylan Thomas record at a garage sale.’
      • ‘They gave him a scratchy 78 rpm vinyl recording of a train and dynamite explosions in a stone quarry.’
      • ‘Thoughtless musical parasites nearly brought the entire record industry to its knees by recording scratchy vinyl or crackly medium wave onto hissy cassettes.’
      • ‘Over and over he plays a scratchy recording of the sparrow's call.’
      • ‘I've heard guys in New York who sound just like Charlie Parker, but it's like a scratchy record of Parker.’
    3. 1.3 (of writing or a drawing) done with quick and jagged strokes.
      ‘a scratchy ink sketch of a man on horseback’
      • ‘It was the bringer of the gray shade, the darker part of him coming to life in a shady drawing of scratchy stick figures.’
      • ‘Hope's rather scratchy sketch shows the western end of the gallery with two Greek Doric columns framing a view of the organ.’
      • ‘While Galambos' black and white pen drawings at times seem a little scratchy and lacking in polish, he has a nice sense of design.’
      • ‘Pope has a scratchy, dark drawing style that tosses characters and objects together in an impressionistic jumble.’
      • ‘McKean's scratchy, angular drawings, reminiscent of Victorian etchings, add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster.’
      • ‘Begin with a few scratchy sketches and then move to the canvas.’
      • ‘Her vague, scratchy, grayish images look kind of like piles of bent wire already, and they might be more interesting in three dimensions.’
      • ‘Did he ever pay a similar tribute to Smith's scratchy writings, or study his famous map?’
      • ‘He works in a scratchy, unpolished drawing style that looks like something put down in haste right after the event.’
      • ‘His scratchy pen portraits might focus on children but this volume is strictly adults only.’
      • ‘The poem is still at the Jackson Pollock stage - a mess of scratchy lines and blobs of ink on a yellow ground.’
      • ‘Below the word, which ran across the chest, was a fashionably scratchy picture of what he presumed was meant to be a tennis racquet.’
      • ‘The collection of new work seems to follow that same artistic idea, with lots of small models and scratchy sketches all contributing towards one central theme.’
      • ‘The chasm is not a peaceful picturesque place, but a reminder of nature's power, which is emphasized by the scratchy crosshatching of the drawing.’
      • ‘His magnificent scratchy drawing skills are in global demand.’
      • ‘He was wearing black faded jeans, and a red t-shirt with ‘Sporks Rule Me’ etched in black scratchy writing across it.’
      • ‘When the works were viewed side by side, de Kooning's brushwork really did look like a blowup of Soutine's scratchy strokes.’
      • ‘The artist likes to float between scratchy, airy paintings and thicker, impasto works, such as in some of the paintings of cows.’
      • ‘Her style has tended toward the expressionistic - fitful and scratchy.’
      • ‘His linework was scratchy, his modelling often stiff, and his eye for perspective shaky.’
      jagged, hooked, spiky, spiked, spined, spiny, prickly, thorny, bristly, bristled, briary, brambly, sharp, pointed
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