1 [skruhf]
the nape or back of the neck.

1780–90; variant of dial. scuff, scuft < Dutch schoft horse's withers Unabridged


2 [skruhf]
noun Metallurgy.
(in tin-plating) dross formed in the bath.

metathetic variant of scurf Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scruff1 (skrʌf)
the nape of the neck (esp in the phrase by the scruff of the neck)
[C18: variant of scuft, perhaps from Old Norse skoft hair; related to Old High German scuft]

scruff2 (skrʌf)
1.  informal an untidy scruffy person
2.  informal a disreputable person, ruffian
3.  another name for scum

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"nape of the neck," 1790, altered (by influence of scruff "crust") from scuft (1787), probably related to N.Fris. skuft "back of the neck of a horse" and Du. schoft "withers of a horse," from a common Gmc. source (cf. O.N. skopt "hair of the head," Goth. skuft, M.H.G. schopf, Ger. Schopf).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Without the clown makeup, his facial scruff and sunken eyes are more pronounced.
Satisfied, the crow flutters down from the platform and grips the hare by the
  scruff of the neck.
He grabs the scruff of her neck and lifts her up, his other hand supporting her
  from below.
Catch the mouse through the bag by grasping it by the scruff of the neck.
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