Definition of scratchy in English:


Line breaks: scratchy
Pronunciation: /ˈskratʃi

adjective (scratchier, scratchiest)

  • 1(Especially of a fabric or garment) having a rough, uncomfortable texture and tending to cause itching or discomfort: a cardigan in a scratchy wool a scratchy red blanket
    More example sentences
    • Rose's fingers were numb from the cold, white with sharply marked red tips, and they stung bitterly as she dug them into his scratchy coat.
    • ‘Check to see if your guitar is in there,’ I laughed, grabbing the thick, scratchy wool blanket off the couch.
    • Did you know that sacking-like scratchy large-weave fabric with vaguely hairy fibres, the stuff they put on display screens and trendy flower arrangements, is called Hessian?
  • 1.1(Of a voice or sound) rough; grating: she dropped her voice to a scratchy whisper
    More example sentences
    • He winced, still recalling her scratchy laughter and screeching voice.
    • ‘Great outfit,’ Joey said disguising his voice with scratchy sounds.
    • ‘C'mere horsey,’ the woman called in a harsh, scratchy voice.
  • 1.2(Of a record) making a crackling or rough sound because of scratches on the surface: loudspeakers blaring a scratchy record
    More example sentences
    • Thoughtless musical parasites nearly brought the entire record industry to its knees by recording scratchy vinyl or crackly medium wave onto hissy cassettes.
    • When I was a kid in the fifties, the whole of our primary school would gather on the lawn while a bugle played off a scratchy record and the Head read the obligatory poem.
    • We had a few scratchy records, a disco deck, a microphone, a small transmitter and a desire in our hearts to try to create something that people would be proud of.
  • 1.3(Of writing or a drawing) done with quick and jagged strokes: a scratchy ink sketch of a man on horseback
    More example sentences
    • When the works were viewed side by side, de Kooning's brushwork really did look like a blowup of Soutine's scratchy strokes.
    • Hope's rather scratchy sketch shows the western end of the gallery with two Greek Doric columns framing a view of the organ.
    • He was wearing black faded jeans, and a red t-shirt with ‘Sporks Rule Me’ etched in black scratchy writing across it.
  • 1.4Bad-tempered or irritable: she was a little abrupt and scratchy
    More example sentences
    • A driver in a good mood is statistically less likely to be involved in an accident than one who's feeling scratchy and irritable.



More example sentences
  • When I was a tot, these things were rare - I remember but one, a character promoting the scratchily animated Disney cartoon.
  • We stayed in the auditorium until the school day ended about two hours later, listening intently to the unfolding story broadcast scratchily from that tiny radio.
  • I liked dive bars with old jukeboxes that scratchily played Sinatra and ‘Dock of the Bay.’


More example sentences
  • For such people, smoking is a significant irritant, worsening the symptoms of scratchiness and stinging or burning of the eyes.
  • You can actually see the scratchiness in the lines, evidence of actual pens driven by real human hands in the creation of these drawings.
  • I leaned through the window and kissed his cheek, feeling the familiar scratchiness of his whiskers.

More definitions of scratchy

Definition of scratchy in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
a small amount; a little