Definition of scrimshaw in US English:

scrimshaw

verb

[with object]
  • Adorn (whalebone, ivory, shells, or other materials) with carved or colored designs.

    • ‘While he was scrimshawing it, he was reminded of a puzzling question which of course I don't know the answer to.’
    • ‘It has been scrimshawed and carved by the hand of this talented carver.’
    • ‘Some sea shells, such as abalone, have been scrimshawed and horn, particularly cattle horn, is also scrimshawed.’

noun

  • Scrimshawed ivory or shells.

    • ‘Nonetheless, there were interesting antique collectibles bought, such as scrimshaw you see once and don't see again.’
    • ‘History buffs and art lovers will find much to savor including scrimshaw at this noteworthy museum.’
    • ‘Pictured below are a several scrimshaw pieces that we have SOLD from our extensive inventory of antique scrimshaw.’
    • ‘While collectors do appreciate the potential investment value of scrimshaw, that is not usually their primary reason for acquiring it.’
    • ‘Right now I currently do scrimshaw and other artwork.’
    • ‘In their leisure time, though, whalemen often practised the art of scrimshaw, creating unique and beautiful works of art as well as practical and useful tools and implements.’

Origin

Early 19th century: of unknown origin; perhaps influenced by the surname Scrimshaw.

Pronunciation

scrimshaw

/ˈskrɪmˌʃɔ//ˈskrimˌSHô/