Definition of scourge in English:


Syllabification: scourge
Pronunciation: /skərj


  • 2A person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering: the scourge of mass unemployment
    More example sentences
    • 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; blight, cancer, canker


[with object] Back to top  
  • 2Cause great suffering to: political methods used to scourge and oppress workers
    More example sentences
    • 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.



( • historical)
More example sentences
  • 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'.

More definitions of scourge

Definition of scourge in: