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[skruhb-ee] /ˈskrʌb i/
adjective, scrubbier, scrubbiest.
low or stunted, as trees.
consisting of or covered with scrub, stunted trees, etc.
undersized or inferior, as animals.
wretched; shabby.
Origin of scrubby
1745-55; scrub2 + -y1
Related forms
scrubbily, adverb
scrubbiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scrubby
  • We disembark, climb into a pickup truck and bump through scrubby pastureland.
  • On the horizon to the east are low mountains covered with scrubby greenery that blooms yellow in the spring.
  • Modest, modern holiday houses peeked through stands of scrubby trees.
  • Aside from a few warehouses and other buildings sitting nearby, a scrubby landscape stretches off in all directions.
  • From here the drive enters scrubby pitch pine and oak forest and a world of lonely beaches, sea cliffs, and dunes.
  • The terrain ranges from gentle, flower-covered hillsides to scrubby coastal trails that sit above glittering beaches.
  • The fairways can get a bit scrubby during drought periods and windy in the late afternoons.
  • These rodents live in open, scrubby habitats and they feed mostly on seeds.
  • Native hardwoods are beginning to invade but it is still quite scrubby.
  • Found in mature and second-growth forests, especially those composed of immature or scrubby trees.
British Dictionary definitions for scrubby


adjective -bier, -biest
covered with or consisting of scrub
(of trees or vegetation) stunted in growth
(Brit, informal) messy
Derived Forms
scrubbiness, noun
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 scrubby

"stunted, inferior, shabby," 1590s; see scrub (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "covered with scrub" is from 1670s. Related: Scrubbiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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