What does scourge mean?

Definitions for scourge

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word scourge.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. scourge, flagellumnoun

    a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)

  2. bane, curse, scourge, nemesisnoun

    something causing misery or death

    "the bane of my life"

  3. terror, scourge, threatverb

    a person who inspires fear or dread

    "he was the terror of the neighborhood"

  4. scourgeverb

    punish severely; excoriate

  5. flagellate, scourgeverb


    "The religious fanatics flagellated themselves"

  6. lay waste to, waste, devastate, desolate, ravage, scourgeverb

    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly

    "The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion"


  1. scourgenoun

    A persistent pest, illness, or source of trouble, (figurative) cause of suffering to people.

    Graffiti is the scourge of building owners everywhere.

  2. scourgenoun

    A whip often of leather.

    He flogged him with a scourge.

  3. scourgeverb

    To strike with a scourge.

  4. Etymology: From Old French escorgier, from Vulgar Latin excorrigiāre, consisting of ex- + corrigia

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SCOURGEnoun

    Etymology: escourgee, French; scoreggia, Italian; corrigia, Latin.

    When he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple. Jo. ii. 15.

    The scourge
    Inexorable, and the torturing hour,
    Calls us to penance. John Milton.

    What scourge for perjury
    Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence? William Shakespeare.

    See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
    That heav’n finds means to kill your joys with love. William Shakespeare.

    Famine and plague are sent as scourges for amendment. 2 Esd.

    Is this the scourge of France?
    Is this the Talbot so much fear’d abroad,
    That with his name the mothers still their babes? William Shakespeare, H. VI.

    Such conquerors are not the favourites, but scourges of God, the instruments of that vengeance. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    In all these trials I have born a part;
    I was myself the scourge that caus’d the smart. Alexander Pope.

    Immortal Jove,
    Let kings no more with gentle mercy sway,
    Or bless a people willing to obey,
    But crush the nations with an iron rod,
    And every monarch be the scourge of God. Alexander Pope.

    If they had a top, the scourge stick and leather strap should be left to their own making. John Locke.

  2. To Scourgeverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
    Make instruments to scourge us. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings. Hebr.

    Is it lawful for you to scourge a Roman, and uncondemned? Acts xxii. 25.

    He scourg’d with many a stroke the indignant waves. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    When a professor of any religion is set up to be laughed at, this cannot help us to judge of the truth of his faith, any better than if he were scourged. Isaac Watts.

    Seeing that thou hast been scourged from heaven, declare the mighty power of God. 2 Mac. iii. 34.

    He doth scourge, and hath mercy. Tob. iii. 2.

    He will scourge us for our iniquities, and will have mercy again. Tob. xiii. 5.


  1. Scourge

    A scourge is a whip or lash, especially a multi-thong type, used to inflict severe corporal punishment or self-mortification. It is usually made of leather.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Scourgenoun

    a lash; a strap or cord; especially, a lash used to inflict pain or punishment; an instrument of punishment or discipline; a whip

  2. Scourgenoun

    hence, a means of inflicting punishment, vengeance, or suffering; an infliction of affliction; a punishment

  3. Scourgenoun

    to whip severely; to lash

  4. Scourgenoun

    to punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict, as for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction

  5. Scourgenoun

    to harass or afflict severely

  6. Etymology: [From Scourge, n.: cf. OF. escorgier.]


  1. Scourge

    A scourge is a whip or lash, especially a multi-thong type, used to inflict severe corporal punishment or self-mortification on the back.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Scourge

    skurj, n. a whip made of leather thongs: an instrument of punishment: a punishment: means of punishment.—v.t. to whip severely: to punish in order to correct.—n. Scour′ger, a flagellant. [O. Fr. escorgie (Fr. écourgée)—L. (scutia) excoriata, (a whip) made of leather—corium, leather.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. scourge

    A name of the boatswain's cat.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce scourge?

How to say scourge in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of scourge in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of scourge in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of scourge in a Sentence

  1. Tom Ridge:

    Remember back then we thought about al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and a few other places? well, we've seen al Qaeda metastasize. It is now a global scourge. And you have the ascendancy of ISIL. The combination of those two groups -- their appeal to the lone wolfs and we see them acting in Belgium and in France and in Canada and the United States so the threat factors and the nature of the threats are far more complicated and far more serious today than on September 12, 2001.

  2. Annabella Sciorra:

    My testimony was painful but necessary, i spoke for Annabella Sciorra and with the strength of the eighty plus victims of Harvey Weinstein in my heart. While we hope for continued righteous outcomes that bring absolute justice, we can never regret breaking the silence. For in speaking truth to power we pave the way for a more just culture, free of the scourge of violence against women.

  3. Preet Bharara:

    Public corruption is a scourge, but lies to law enforcement make the job of fighting corruption doubly difficult.

  4. Adam Smith:

    As I have said, the scourge of sexual assault in our military must come to an end, and after years of trying and failing to address the problem the time has come to remove the prosecution of sexual assault crimes from the chain of command.

  5. Mark Deppe:

    Some people believe video games are the scourge of society — and there's a huge generational gap between young people who play games and other folks who think it's a waste of time, so in addition to building this business and all the stresses that come with that, we have to address the fair critiques and defend against the unfair ones.

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"scourge." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/scourge>.

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    transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity
    • A. witless
    • B. transparent
    • C. disjointed
    • D. dependable

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