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Denotation vs. Connotation

scrabble

[skrab-uh l] /ˈskræb əl/
verb (used with object), scrabbled, scrabbling.
1.
to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands.
2.
to grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws or hands.
3.
to scrawl; scribble.
verb (used without object), scrabbled, scrabbling.
4.
to scratch or dig frantically with the hands; claw (often followed by at):
scrabbling at a locked door to escape the flames.
5.
to jostle or struggle for possession of something; grab or collect something in a disorderly way; scramble.
noun
6.
a scratching or scraping, as with the claws or hands.
7.
a scrawled or scribbled writing.
8.
a disorderly struggle for possession of something; scramble:
After the fumble, there was a scrabble for the football.
Origin of scrabble
1530-1540
1530-40; < Dutch schrabbelen to scratch, frequentative of schrabben to scrape
Related forms
scrabbler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scrabbling
Historical Examples
  • On the top of the heap something small and dark was scrabbling and rattling furtively among the coal.

  • All this scrabbling around, searching everywhere for suitable planets.

    They Also Serve Donald E. Westlake
  • Ross choked and then sneezed as dust puffed up from between his scrabbling hands.

    Key Out of Time Andre Alice Norton
  • He appeared to be scrabbling about the floor, playing with her foot.

    Furze the Cruel John Trevena
  • Away up the long stony hill, scrambling and scrabbling, but never ceasing till they reached the level prairie at the top.

  • They reached his extended arms and ran up them with scrabbling claws.

    The World That Couldn't Be Clifford Donald Simak
  • When he was gone, I found Jim Edwards scrabbling for his hat where it had dropped over behind the desk.

  • There was one expanse that was sheer rock-climbing, flattened like bugs against a wall, scrabbling for hand-holds and footholds.

    The Planet Savers Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • He swung into his waistcoat and coat, scrabbling at the buttons in the violence of his emotions.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • A dim, shapeless figure in the black of the doorway, scrabbling of fingers on the wall.

    The Little Warrior P. G. Wodehouse
British Dictionary definitions for scrabbling

scrabble

/ˈskræbəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive; often foll by about or at) to scrape (at) or grope (for), as with hands or claws
2.
to struggle (with)
3.
(intransitive) often foll by for. to struggle to gain possession, esp in a disorderly manner
4.
to scribble
noun
5.
the act or an instance of scrabbling
6.
a scribble
7.
a disorderly struggle
Word Origin
C16: from Middle Dutch shrabbelen, frequentative of shrabben to scrape

Scrabble

/ˈskræbəl/
noun
1.
trademark a board game in which words are formed by placing lettered tiles in a pattern similar to a crossword puzzle
Derived Forms
Scrabbler, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for scrabbling

scrabble

v.

1530s, "to scrawl, scribble," from Dutch schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben "to scratch," from the same root as scrape (v.). Meaning "to struggle, scramble" first recorded 1630s. Related: Scrabbled; scrabbling.

Scrabble

n.

board game, 1949, proprietary name (registered U.S.), probably from scribble-scrabble "hasty writing" (1580s), a reduplication of scribble (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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