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[skrach-ee] /ˈskrætʃ i/
adjective, scratchier, scratchiest.
causing or liable to cause a slight grating noise:
a scratchy record.
consisting of or marked by scratches:
a scratchy drawing.
uneven; haphazard:
He plays a scratchy game.
causing itching or other minor irritation of the skin:
a scratchy woolen sweater.
causing or liable to cause a scratch or scratches:
scratchy bushes.
Chiefly British Slang. peevish; spiteful.
Origin of scratchy
1700-10; scratch + -y1
Related forms
scratchily, adverb
scratchiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scratchy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not easy; it was a hot, messy, scratchy, grunting job.

    The Car That Went Abroad Albert Bigelow Paine
  • scratchy Wilson's drunk, and has turned loose with both hands.

  • He could not recognize the faint, scratchy, uncertain characters as anything he had ever seen before.

    The Lost Lady of Lone E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • He was precisely the shepherd for the foreground of a scratchy etching.

    Italian Hours Henry James
  • "I imagine you're a pretty angry young man, Mr. Robertson," he said in his scratchy voice.

    Card Trick Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett
Word Origin and History for scratchy

1710, "affected with 'the scratch,'" a skin disease, from scratch (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning "composed of scratches" is from 1827; that of "grating" is from 1866. Of sounds (especially in reproduction) from 1889. Related: Scratchiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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