Share this entry

scrimshaw Line breaks: scrim|shaw
Pronunciation: /ˈskrɪmʃɔː/

Definition of scrimshaw in English:


[with object]
Adorn ivory or shells with carved or coloured designs: (as adjective scrimshawed) the scrimshawed jewellery and antique furniture on sale
More example sentences
  • While he was scrimshawing it, he was reminded of a puzzling question which of course I don't know the answer to.
  • Some sea shells, such as abalone, have been scrimshawed and horn, particularly cattle horn, is also scrimshawed.
  • It has been scrimshawed and carved by the hand of this talented carver.


[mass noun] Back to top  
Scrimshawed ivory or shells: a collection of scrimshaw
More example sentences
  • While collectors do appreciate the potential investment value of scrimshaw, that is not usually their primary reason for acquiring it.
  • In their leisure time, though, whalemen often practised the art of scrimshaw, creating unique and beautiful works of art as well as practical and useful tools and implements.
  • Nonetheless, there were interesting antique collectibles bought, such as scrimshaw you see once and don't see again.


Early 19th century: of unknown origin; perhaps influenced by the surname Scrimshaw.

Words that rhyme with scrimshaw

trishaw • dogshore

Definition of scrimshaw in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwäˈfər
a hairdresser