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scour1

[skouuh r, skou-er] /skaʊər, ˈskaʊ ər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to remove dirt, grease, etc., from or to cleanse or polish by hard rubbing, as with a rough or abrasive material:
to scour pots and pans.
2.
to remove (dirt, grease, etc.) from something by hard rubbing:
to scour grease from pots and pans.
3.
to clear or dig out (a channel, drain, etc.) as by the force of water, by removing debris, etc.
4.
to purge thoroughly, as an animal.
5.
to clear or rid of what is undesirable:
to scour the nation of spies.
6.
to remove by or as if by cleansing; get rid of.
7.
to clean or rid of debris, impurities, etc., by or as if by washing, as cotton or wool.
8.
Metallurgy. (of the contents of a blast furnace) to rub against and corrode (the refractory lining).
verb (used without object)
9.
to rub a surface in order to cleanse or polish it.
10.
to remove dirt, grease, etc.
11.
to become clean and shiny.
12.
to be capable of being cleaned by rubbing:
The roasting pan scours easily.
13.
(of a plow, cultivator, etc.) to pass through the ground without soil clinging to the blade.
14.
(of a plow, shovel, etc.) to become polished from use.
noun
15.
the act of scouring.
16.
the place scoured.
17.
an apparatus or material used in scouring; scourer:
Sand is a good scour.
18.
the erosive force of moving water, as in a river or sea.
19.
Usually, scours. (used with a singular or plural verb) Veterinary Pathology. diarrhea in horses and cattle caused by intestinal infection.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English scouren (v.) < Middle Dutch scūren < Old French escurer < Latin excūrāre to take care of (Medieval Latin escūrāre to clean), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + cūrāre to care for
Synonyms
1. burnish, buff, shine, rub.

scour2

[skouuh r, skou-er] /skaʊər, ˈskaʊ ər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to range over, as in a search:
They scoured the countryside for the lost child.
2.
to run or pass quickly over or along.
verb (used without object)
3.
to range about, as in search of something.
4.
to move rapidly or energetically.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English scouren; perhaps < Old Norse skūr shower1
Synonyms
1. comb, rake, scan.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for scour
  • scour them with a nylon pad or scrub brush, or wash them with a dishcloth.
  • What's more, it can squeegee water, or scour and clean with a handy bristle-wheel attachment.
  • Albatrosses are superb long-distance fliers that can scour vast tracts of ocean in search of food.
  • Hedge funds looking to bet on a euro zone breakup scour his research reports for insights.
  • He's the tallest basketball player of all at this time, though surely not for long, as coaches scour the world for mega-humans.
  • Hours before the event, bomb-sniffing dogs scour the site.
  • There, they gathered thousands of pounds of rocks to anchor the flag against the ferocious winds that can scour the peaks here.
  • The fun begins when the rival sheikh approaches to scour the faces of his opponents.
  • He's bringing a robotic archaeologist to scour the vessel.
  • They now scour the land, watching out for settler raids.
British Dictionary definitions for scour

scour1

/skaʊə/
verb
1.
to clean or polish (a surface) by washing and rubbing, as with an abrasive cloth
2.
to remove dirt from or have the dirt removed from
3.
(transitive) to clear (a channel) by the force of water; flush
4.
(transitive) to remove by or as if by rubbing
5.
(intransitive) (of livestock, esp cattle) to have diarrhoea
6.
(transitive) to cause (livestock) to purge their bowels
7.
(transitive) to wash (wool) to remove wax, suint, and other impurities
noun
8.
the act of scouring
9.
the place scoured, esp by running water
10.
something that scours, such as a cleansing agent
11.
(often pl) prolonged diarrhoea in livestock, esp cattle
Derived Forms
scourer, noun
Word Origin
C13: via Middle Low German schūren, from Old French escurer, from Late Latin excūrāre to cleanse, from cūrāre; see cure

scour2

/skaʊə/
verb
1.
to range over (territory), as in making a search
2.
to move swiftly or energetically over (territory)
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse skūr
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 scour
v.

"cleanse by hard rubbing," c.1200, from Middle Dutch scuren, schuren "to polish, to clean," and from Old French escurer, both from Late Latin excurare "clean off," literally "take good care of," from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + curare "care for" (see cure (v.)). Possibly originally a technical term among Flemish workmen in England. Related: Scoured; scouring. As a noun, 1610s, from the verb.

"move quickly in search of something," c.1300, probably from Old Norse skyra "rush in," related to skur "storm, shower, shower of missiles" (see shower (n.)). Perhaps influenced by or blended with Old French escorre "to run out," from Latin excurrere (see excursion). Sense probably influenced by scour (v.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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