There are 2 main definitions of scruff in English:

scruff1

Syllabification: scruff
Pronunciation: /skrəf
 
/

noun

The back of a person’s or animal’s neck: he grabbed him by the scruff of his neck
More example sentences
  • Finally Anton held her up by the scruff of her neck and she drew her limbs in, responding to some kitten memory of being carried that way by her mother.
  • If you were lucky enough to see him perform on stage, you always had the feeling he might suddenly leap into the audience, grab you by the scruff of the neck and haul you up onstage to drink ouzo and dance with him.
  • The orchestral introduction grips us by the scruff of the neck in the venom with which it makes hunting and stalking aurally incarnate.

Origin

late 18th century: alteration of dialect scuff, of obscure origin.

Definition of scruff in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of scruff in English:

scruff2

Line breaks: scruff

Entry from British & World English dictionary

noun

British informal
A person with a dirty or untidy appearance.

Origin

early 16th century (in the sense 'scurf'): variant of scurf. The word came to mean 'worthless thing', whence the current sense (mid 19th century).

Definition of scruff in: