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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 scourges
  • Historically, epidemiologists have focused on domestic animals as the source of these scourges.
  • Fortunately, those scourges are virtually unknown to modern generations that have had access to vaccines all their lives.
  • The sergeants of the watch opened a way for it through the people by vigorous use of their thonged scourges.
  • Think back to when smallpox, diphtheria, polio etc were real scourges.
  • It's the small silver lining to the twin scourges of high gas prices and economic turmoil: traffic congestion has eased.
  • In the last decade green tea has acquired a reputation as a preventive of many scourges, including heart disease and cancer.
  • Each and every sector of our community has an important role to play in our efforts to put an end to these scourges.
  • We must stop the global scourges of organized crime, drug-trafficking and especially terrorism.
British Dictionary definitions for scourges

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 scourges

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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