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scourge

[skurj] /skɜrdʒ/
noun
1.
a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.
2.
a person or thing that applies or administers punishment or severe criticism.
3.
a cause of affliction or calamity:
Disease and famine are scourges of humanity.
verb (used with object), scourged, scourging.
4.
to whip with a scourge; lash.
5.
to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.
Origin
1175-1225
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
Related forms
scourger, noun
scourgingly, adverb
self-scourging, adjective
unscourged, adjective
unscourging, adjective
Synonyms
3. plague, bane. 5. correct, castigate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for scourge
  • 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.
  • So abandoned to iniquity were some persons, that this scourge itself was not able to reclaim them.
  • Until lately this scourge carried off from one-sixth to one-tenth of a ship's crew on a long voyage.
  • After that opium addiction went from being a rare ostentation of nobles to a scourge that affected one in six of the population.
  • Three years ago the company was considered a parasite and a scourge.
  • Deadly bacteria are the scourge of emergency rooms, in part because there are not enough varieties of antibiotics to fight them.
  • But unemployment is bringing another scourge in its wake-overwork.
British Dictionary definitions for scourge

scourge

/skɜːdʒ/
noun
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
verb (transitive)
4.
to whip; flog
5.
to punish severely
Derived Forms
scourger, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-French escorge, from Old French escorgier (unattested) to lash, from es-ex-1 + Latin corrigia whip
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 scourge
n.

c.1200, "a whip, lash," from Anglo-French escorge, back-formation from Old French escorgier "to whip," from Vulgar Latin *excorrigiare, from Latin ex- "out, off" (see ex-) + corrigia "thong, shoelace," in this case "whip," probably from a Gaulish word related to Old Irish cuimrech "fetter," from PIE root *reig- "to bind" (see rig (v.)). Figurative use from late 14c. Scourge of God, title given by later generations to Attila the Hun (406-453 C.E.), is attested from late 14c., from Latin flagellum Dei.

v.

c.1300, "to whip," from Old French escorgier and from scourge (n.). Figurative meaning "to afflict" (often for the sake of punishment or purification) is from late 14c. Related: Scourged; scourging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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