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harum-scarum

[hair-uh m-skair-uh m, har-uh m-skar-uh m] /ˈhɛər əmˈskɛər əm, ˈhær əmˈskær əm/
adjective
1.
reckless; rash; irresponsible:
He had a harum-scarum youth.
2.
disorganized; uncontrolled.
adverb
3.
recklessly; wildly:
He ran harum-scarum all over the place.
noun
4.
a reckless person.
5.
reckless or unpredictable behavior or action.
Origin
1665-1675
1665-75; earlier harum-starum rhyming compound based on obsolete hare to harass + stare
Related forms
harum-scarumness, noun
Synonyms
1, 2. erratic, impulsive, impetuous; giddy, scatterbrained.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for harum-scarum

harum-scarum

/ˈhɛərəmˈskɛərəm/
adjective, adverb
1.
in a reckless way or of a reckless nature
noun
2.
a person who is impetuous or rash
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from hare (in obsolete sense: harass) + scare, variant of stare1; compare helter-skelter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for harum-scarum

1670s (adv.), probably a compound of obsolete hare (v.) "harry" + scare (v.), with 'um as a reduced form of them. As an adjective from 1751; as a noun from 1784.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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