verb (used with object), scrabbled, scrabbling.
to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands.
to grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws or hands.
to scrawl; scribble.
verb (used without object), scrabbled, scrabbling.
to scratch or dig frantically with the hands; claw (often followed by at ): scrabbling at a locked door to escape the flames.
to jostle or struggle for possession of something; grab or collect something in a disorderly way; scramble.
a scratching or scraping, as with the claws or hands.
a scrawled or scribbled writing.
a disorderly struggle for possession of something; scramble: After the fumble, there was a scrabble for the football.

1530–40; < Dutch schrabbelen to scratch, frequentative of schrabben to scrape

scrabbler, noun Unabridged


a brand name for a game combining anagrams and crosswords in which two to four players use counters of various point values to form words on a playing board. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scrabble (ˈskræbəl)
vb (often foll by for)
1.  (intr; often foll by about or at) to scrape (at) or grope (for), as with hands or claws
2.  to struggle (with)
3.  to struggle to gain possession, esp in a disorderly manner
4.  to scribble
5.  the act or an instance of scrabbling
6.  a scribble
7.  a disorderly struggle
[C16: from Middle Dutch shrabbelen, frequentative of shrabben to scrape]

Scrabble (ˈskræbəl)
trademark a board game in which words are formed by placing lettered tiles in a pattern similar to a crossword puzzle

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1537, "to scrawl, scribble," from Du. schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben "to scratch," from the same root as scrape (q.v.). Meaning "to struggle, scramble" first recorded 1638. The game Scrabble is from 1950, proprietary name (reg. U.S.), probably from scribble-scrabble
"hasty writing" (1589), a reduplication of scribble.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Some experts have argued that the animal used its wings to hop and scrabble
  about in trees rather than for powered flight.
Their legs would scrabble around and they nearly choked themselves trying to
  get off.
Or it can stop paying unemployed workers, and let them scrabble around for
These redistricting battles may be even more annoying for voters, forced to
  stand by while partisans scrabble over turf.
Related Words
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