Definition of scourge in English:


Line breaks: scourge
Pronunciation: /skəːdʒ


  • 2A person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering: the scourge of mass unemployment
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    • Like every city, Sheffield suffers from the scourge of nuisance neighbours, but has taken a leading role in trying to address the problem.
    • The fiction business, Bellaigue tells us, is troubled by twin scourges: speculative advances and competitive discounts.
    • ‘Bill suffered the scourge of asthma all his life,’ he said.
    affliction, bane, curse, plague, menace, evil, misfortune, burden, cross to bear, thorn in one's flesh/side, bitter pill, trial, nuisance, pest; torment, torture, misery, suffering; blight, cancer, canker; punishment, penalty, visitation


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  • 2Cause great suffering to: political methods used to scourge and oppress workers
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    • The Italian playwright was awarded the Nobel Prize for ‘emulating the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden’.
    • He also scourges the bureaucracy and the corruption, and the collusion between the Mafia and politicians.
    • Straddling two of the Indian subcontinent's mightiest rivers, the country is regularly drowned by flood crests surging downstream or scourged by whirlwinds from the sea.
    afflict, plague, torment, torture, curse, cause suffering to, oppress, burden, bedevil, beset; devastate; punish



noun ( • historical )
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  • Behind the employer stood the magistrate and the scourger, and then the chain gangs and the penal colonies, such as Norfolk Island, Moreton Bay, and Port Arthur.


Middle English: shortening of Old French escorge (noun), escorgier (verb), from Latin ex- 'thoroughly' + corrigia 'thong, whip'.

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