The hiker scrabbled up the trail as he struggled to get his footing on the loose gravel.
- Scrabble is a board game where you use letter tiles to make words, or a struggle to get somewhere or to get something.
- A board game where you use letter tiles to make words is an example of Scrabble®.
- A desperate struggle to get a promotion is an example of a scrabble.
- To scrabble is to clutch, grope or grab at something, or to try to move along or crawl quickly.
- When you are rock climbing and try really hard to get a firm grip on a rock, this is an example of a time when you scrabble.
- When an animal digs his claws into something, this is an example of a time when the animal scrabbles.
- When an animal crawls along quickly, this is an example of a time when the animal scrabbles.
- When you struggle to claw your way up at work and grab a successful promotion, this is an example of a time when you scrabble.
intransitive verb-·bled, -·bling
- to scratch, scrape, or paw as though looking for something
- to struggle
- to scribble; make meaningless marks
Origin of scrabbleDutch schrabbelen from schrabben, to scrape: for Indo-European base see scrape
- to scrape together quickly
- to scribble
- to scribble on
- a scraping with the hands or paws
- a scramble
- a scribble; scrawl
- a struggle
verbscrab·bled, scrab·bling, scrab·bles
- To scrape or grope about frenetically with the hands or paws: “They often scrabbled through kitchen drawers looking for coins to buy bread” ( Steve Friedman )
- To move or climb with scrambling, disorderly haste: scrabbled down the rocks to the water.
- To struggle or work hard in a disorderly or desperate fashion: “For quite some time I scrabbled around, playing the piano at jazz bars, doing whatever … journalism I could get” ( Frank Conroy )
- To write hastily or make disordered markings; scribble.
- To make or obtain by frenetic or desperate action: scrabble a living from soil depleted of nutrients.
- a. To scrape or scratch (a surface): “Tubal got him a pointed rod / And scrabbled the earth for corn” ( Rudyard Kipling )b. To move or arrange hastily with the hands: “The next flat tombstone was covered with leaves. I scrabbled the dust away” ( Ray Bradbury )
- To scribble or write down hastily: scrabbled the answer on a sheet of paper.
- The act or an instance of scrabbling.
- A scribble; a doodle.
Origin of scrabbleDutch schrabbelen from Middle Dutch frequentative of schrabben to scrape ; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present scrabbles, present participle scrabbling, simple past and past participle scrabbled)
- To scrape or scratch powerfully with hands or claws.
- (intransitive) To move something about by making rapid movements back and forth with the hands or paws.
- She was on her hands and knees scrabbling in the mud, looking for her missing wedding ring.
- To scribble.
- To mark with irregular lines or letters; to scribble on.
- to scrabble paper
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