Definition of score in English:

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Pronunciation: /skôr/


1The number of points, goals, runs, etc., achieved in a game by a team or an individual: the final score was 25-16 in favor of Washington
More example sentences
  • US soccer fans will be alerted to goals scored and conceded, along with half-time and full-time scores every time their team plays.
  • Students counted daily attendances and absences, team numbers, scores in games, chairs and tables, and counted down the days to important events in their lives.
  • The final score reflected the home team's dominance, although the Oxford athletes put on a good show and should be encouraged by their performances at such an early stage of the season.
result, outcome;
total, sum total, tally, count
1.1 informal An act of gaining a point, goal, or run in a game.
Example sentences
  • This bonus is potentially the most important score for players, as it helps fill up your flash-o-meter.
  • The only other score of the game came at the end of the third quarter for the Pipers on a 23-yard field goal attempt.
  • Munson snuck into the end zone from two yards out for the Scots' second touchdown score.
1.2A rating or grade, such as a mark achieved in a test: an IQ score of 161
More example sentences
  • Grades and test scores are important, but what a student can bring to a university community can sometimes be even more significant.
  • Impressive test scores and grades help, of course.
  • Also, children whose mothers gave disapproving looks, criticized them and gave support had lower verbal and math scores on the IQ test.
rating, grade, mark, percentage
1.3 (the score) informal The state of affairs; the real facts about the present situation: “Hey, what’s the score here, what’s goin' on?”
the situation, the position, the facts, the truth of the matter, the (true) state of affairs, the picture, how things stand, the lay of the land
informal what's what, what the deal is/was
1.4 informal An act of buying illegal drugs.
1.5 informal The proceeds of a crime.
Example sentences
  • He's going to make one last big score, get out of the business.
2 (plural same) A group or set of twenty or about twenty: a score of men lost their lives in the battle Doyle’s success brought imitators by the score
More example sentences
  • Reports came swarming in by the score, of the damage done to the coastal towns and forests.
  • Now he's at it again, wiping out landmarks by the score.
  • For a city with hotels by the score, Seattle can be a tough place to find a bed.
2.1 (scores of) A large amount or number of something: he sent scores of enthusiastic letters to friends
More example sentences
  • Air speeds of a few thousand miles an hour are of little use in the exploration of planets scores of million miles away, let alone solar systems light years beyond our own.
  • When he returned, 17 years later, it was as a hugely successful entertainer with scores of hit records to his credit.
  • Islam is a religion with hundreds of millions of followers in scores of diverse countries.
a great many, a lot, a great/good deal, large quantities, plenty
informal lots, a bunch, umpteen, a slew, loads, masses, stacks, scads, heaps, piles, bags, tons, oodles, dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, gazillions, bajillions of
3A written representation of a musical composition showing all the vocal and instrumental parts arranged one below the other.
Example sentences
  • Ideally, one might wish for translations to the texts of the vocal examples and a few more musical scores for the CDs, so that one could follow more of the points being made.
  • Many were the instruments and singers interchanging scores and vocal lines during the Baroque Era.
  • The top floor features bedrooms, the Maestro's old study-work room, and copious shelving for books, musical scores and the like.
3.1The music composed for a movie or play.
Example sentences
  • While Carpenter is known as a great director, he's also very good at creating atmospheric music scores for his films.
  • From popular music genres to various folk musics to film score and cartoon soundtracks - any style is fair game.
  • Elmer Bernstein composed the musical scores of five feature films in 1953, his third year as a film composer.
4A notch or line cut or scratched into a surface.
4.1 historical A running account kept by marks against a customer’s name, typically in a tavern.


[with object]
1Gain (a point, goal, run, etc.) in a competitive game: Penn State scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter [no object]: Martinez scored on Anderson’s sacrifice fly
More example sentences
  • He scored a record 49 times for England in 106 games, but is equally hailed for his sense of fair play.
  • Mark scored one of the most amazing baskets ever, it was unbelievable.
  • On April 16th he scored a total of 61 points against the Atlanta Hawks setting a new NBA record.
net, bag, rack up, chalk up, tally, notch, record;
get, gain, achieve, make
1.1Decide on the score to be awarded to (a competitor): the judge must score each dog against this standard
More example sentences
  • Our judges will be scoring him out of a hundred based on the usual criteria.
  • And, if he must be scored on this task - and he must - I'd give him a decidedly mixed grade.
1.2Gain (a number of points) for a competitor; be worth: each correct answer scores ten points
More example sentences
  • The higher card wins and that player sets that card aside scoring the number of pips on it.
  • On each hand your team scores the total number of penalty points you have taken in your tricks.
  • And quibbles they are: as a film which, from the outset, devotes itself unashamedly to style over substance, it scores top marks.
1.3Decide on the scores to be awarded in (a game or competition).
Example sentences
  • Routines are scored on technical skills, routine skills, safety and infractions, and overall impression.
1.4 [no object] Record the score during a game; act as scorer.
1.5 Baseball Cause (a teammate) to score: McNab singled, scoring Reynolds and Diaz
1.6 informal Secure (a success or an advantage): the band scored a hit single
More example sentences
  • The 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division (on camera) scored a significant success earlier in the day.
  • With the labor-union allies it has cultivated, it has even helped create new parties that have scored real successes.
  • From its first appearance on the New York art-scene it scored a triumph with collectors.
be successful, be a success, triumph, make an impression, go down well
informal be a hit, be a winner, be a sellout
1.7 [no object] informal Be successful: [with complement]: his new movie scored big
More example sentences
  • A movie that scores big its opening weekend will draw in thousands of more viewers simply because of the fact that these viewers pay attention only to numbers and not quality.
  • Well, Ashley, it may be no big deal to you, but we say you've scored big for womankind.
  • You're in luck as well because St Lucia's Carnival is only just over and the stores are flooded with releases which scored big during the season.
1.8 informal Buy or acquire (something, typically illegal drugs): Sally had scored some acid
More example sentences
  • A dope dealer doesn't just pop up on my computer and say, This is how you can score illegal drugs.
  • Deena rarely saw her mom because her mom was always away partying and trying to score drugs.
  • Even the one older character, Rory, is a screwed-up social worker who scores drugs from his clients.
1.9 [no object] informal Succeed in attracting a sexual partner, typically for a casual encounter.
Example sentences
  • Finally, after decades of foreplay, a gay man on TV scored.
  • You don't have to have nerves of steel to score with women.
  • Straight men who want to score with their women look to us for advice.
get lucky, have sex, go all the way, do it
2Orchestrate or arrange (a piece of music), typically for a specified instrument or instruments: the Quartet Suite was scored for flute, violin, viola da gamba, and continuo
More example sentences
  • I'd love to work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to score the music for one of his titles.
  • Music is also scored to the fight action and to that rhythm.
  • So, I will be working with Martinu's Double Concerto - scored for two strings orchestras, piano and timpani.
orchestrate, arrange, set, adapt;
write, compose
2.1Compose the music for (a movie or play).
Example sentences
  • The music coordinators must have run out of ideas because much of the film is scored with other movie soundtracks.
  • On top of that, he also scores the entire film with surf music.
  • I scored the film to Howard Hanson's ‘Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth.’
3Cut or scratch a notch or line on (a surface): score the card until you cut through
More example sentences
  • Its white sides are scored and scratched, and my vines have spilled over the edge of the deck.
  • He put his hands down on the table, letting his claws score the wooden surface lightly.
  • Carefully place the pastry rounds on a large non-stick baking sheet and score the surface in a diamond pattern, using the tip of a small sharp knife.
scratch, cut, notch, incise, scrape, nick, chip, gouge;
3.1 historical Record (a total owed) by making marks against a customer’s name: a slate on which the old man scored up vast accounts
3.2 Medicine & Biology Examine (experimentally treated cells, bacterial colonies, etc.), making a record of the number showing a particular character.
Example sentences
  • One hundred randomly selected metaphase cells were scored for the presence of chromatid gaps and breaks.
  • She says the traditional approach for evaluating a fluid milk's sensory characteristics scores the product against a list of commonly found defects.



keep (the) score

Register the score of a game as it proceeds.
Example sentences
  • Those people can feel the fine balance between linear and interactive, between rules and freedom, between keeping score and not keeping score.
  • The variety of techniques used for keeping score in games is extremely diverse.
  • The game isn't over when you suit up and trot out onto the field; you gotta play the game and keep score, too.

know the score

informal Be aware of the essential facts about a situation.
Example sentences
  • You know the score - in fact, the movie plays out like a cross between The Outsiders and Mean Streets, minus the former's style and the latter's smarts.
  • She's a great family pet at home but once at work she knows the score.
  • He added: ‘The jazz festival has been taking place for years and everyone knows the score.’

on that (or this) score

So far as that (or this) is concerned: my priority was to blend new faces into the team, and we have succeeded on that score
More example sentences
  • Beaverbrook, who freely admitted running his newspapers for propaganda, had no cause for concern on that score.
  • All this elaborate housing would still be neat, but nonetheless inconsequential, if it didn't match the music it housed, though, and on that score, it succeeds again.
  • I was able to ameliorate her concerns on that score and she relaxed, but just a bit.

score points

Outdo another person, especially in an argument.

settle a (or the) score

1Take revenge on someone for a past act.
Example sentences
  • And we settled a score with Steve, who beat me on the North West Stages this year, but finished 15 seconds behind us!
  • Each wanted to settle the score and claim that Hip-Hop Culture began and thrived on their home turf, when in fact both places probably had the same amount of youth on the street developing the culture that we know today as Hip-Hop.
  • ‘They're a team we lost to in the first half of the season so we'd like to settle the score,’ he said.
grievance, grudge, complaint;
dispute, bone of contention;
(score to settle) bone to pick, ax to grind
2 dated Pay off a debt or other obligation.
Example sentences
  • But the company did ultimately agree to settle the score, even if resolution came too late to save your family vacation.
  • It can also be a wallowing in the past and all the wrongs it wrought, a desire to return and settle the score, to remake what we regret.


Late Old English scoru 'set of twenty', from Old Norse skor 'notch, tally, twenty', of Germanic origin; related to shear. The verb (late Middle English) is from Old Norse skora 'make an incision'.

  • scotch from early 17th century:

    To scotch or decisively put an end to something derives from an old use of the word for a wedge placed under a wheel to prevent it moving or slipping. Another use of scotch, ‘to make something temporarily harmless’, goes back to a line from Shakespeare's Macbeth: ‘We have scotched the snake, not killed it.’ This is not what originally appeared in Shakespeare's text, where the word first used was ‘scorched’, meaning ‘slashed with a knife’. This was an alteration of score but was short-lived, and later editors wondered what on earth burning the skin of a snake had to do with it, assuming that ‘scorched’ must be a printer's error. The origin of scotch itself is unknown, but score (Old English) comes from Old Norse ‘to make a cut or notch’. The term for twenty comes from counting by cutting notches in a piece of wood called a tally, with the word for the notch transferred to the number.

Words that rhyme with score

abhor, adore, afore, anymore, ashore, awe, bandore, Bangalore, before, boar, Boer, bore, caw, chore, claw, cocksure, comprador, cor, core, corps, craw, Delors, deplore, door, draw, drawer, evermore, explore, flaw, floor, for, forbore, fore, foresaw, forevermore, forswore, four, fourscore, furthermore, Gábor, galore, gnaw, gore, grantor, guarantor, guffaw, hard-core, Haugh, haw, hoar, ignore, implore, Indore, interwar, jaw, Johor, Lahore, law, lessor, lor, lore, macaw, man-o'-war, maw, mirador, mor, more, mortgagor, Mysore, nevermore, nor, oar, obligor, offshore, onshore, open-jaw, or, ore, outdoor, outwore, paw, poor, pore, pour, rapport, raw, roar, saw, scaur, senhor, señor, shaw, ship-to-shore, shop-floor, shore, signor, Singapore, snore, soar, softcore, sore, spore, store, straw, swore, Tagore, tau, taw, thaw, Thor, threescore, tor, tore, torr, trapdoor, tug-of-war, two-by-four, underfloor, underscore, war, warrantor, Waugh, whore, withdraw, wore, yaw, yore, your

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: score

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