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scrawl

[skrawl] /skrɔl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to write or draw in a sprawling, awkward manner:
He scrawled his name hastily across the blackboard.
verb (used without object)
2.
to write awkwardly, carelessly, or illegibly.
noun
3.
awkward, careless, or illegible handwriting.
4.
something scrawled, as a letter or a note.
Origin
late Middle English
1605-1615
1605-15; perhaps to be identified with late Middle English scraule to sprawl, crawl (blend of sprawl and crawl)
Related forms
unscrawled, adjective
unscrawling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for un scrawling

scrawl

/skrɔːl/
verb
1.
to write or draw (signs, words, etc) carelessly or hastily; scribble
noun
2.
careless or scribbled writing, drawing, or marks
Derived Forms
scrawler, noun
scrawly, adjective
Word Origin
C17: perhaps a blend of sprawl and crawl1
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 un scrawling

scrawl

v.

1610s, "write or draw untidily," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Middle English scrawlen "spread out the limbs, sprawl" (early 15c.), which possibly is an alteration of sprawlen (see sprawl (v.)) or crawl (v.). Related: Scrawled; scrawling. The noun is recorded from 1690s, from the verb. Meaning "bad handwriting" is from 1710.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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