a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.
a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.
a cause of affliction or calamity: Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.
verb (used with object), scourged, scourging.
to whip with a scourge; lash.
to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French escorge, derivative of escorgier to whip < Vulgar Latin *excorrigiāre, derivative of Latin corrigia thong, whip (see ex-1); (v.) Middle English < Old French escorgier

scourger, noun
scourgingly, adverb
self-scourging, adjective
unscourged, adjective
unscourging, adjective

3. plague, bane. 5. correct, castigate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To scourge
World English Dictionary
scourge (skɜːdʒ)
1.  a person who harasses, punishes, or causes destruction
2.  a means of inflicting punishment or suffering
3.  a whip used for inflicting punishment or torture
4.  to whip; flog
5.  to punish severely
[C13: from Anglo-French escorge, from Old French escorgier (unattested) to lash, from es-ex-1 + Latin corrigia whip]

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

early 13c., from Anglo-Fr. escorge, back-formation from O.Fr. escorgier "to whip," from V.L. *excorrigiare, from L. ex- "out, off" + corrigia "thong, shoelace," in this case "whip," probably from a Gaulish word related to O.Ir. cuimrech "fetter." The verb is attested from early 13c. Scourge of God, title
given by later generations to Attila the Hun (406453 C.E.), is attested from late 14c., from L. flagellum Dei.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Velvet art gets a pretty bad rap, but what is the scourge of the art world
  actually has a fairly long history.
Sickness is different in this respect: few of us will escape it, especially
  during the scourge of old age.
But it isn't the scourge that the press has made it out to be.
In the time of a great drought, he exhorted the people to penance, to avert
  this scourge of heaven.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature