Basic+ Word of the Day: scrape

scrape (verb, noun) past tense: scraped LISTEN

Scraping off paint

Scrape means ‘to remove by rubbing with something rough or sharp.’

  • Helen scraped wallpaper off the wall.
  • Andrew scraped the table to remove the varnish.

Scrape also means ‘to injure by brushing against something rough.’

  • Evan scraped his knee on the sidewalk.

A scrape is a scraped place.

  • The mom put a bandage on the scrape.
  • After they moved the desk, there was a scrape on the wooden floor.

Don't confuse it with

scrap: a small piece. Example: “Mary wrote a note on a scrap of paper.”

Common uses

scrape the bottom of the barrel: to use the worst option because that’s all that is available. Example: “When they chose Bart as the new manager, they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

scrape by: to manage with difficulty. Example: “When Ed lost his job, his family barely scraped by.”

Related words

skyscraper: a tall building of many stories. Example: “Chicago architecture is known for its skyscrapers.”

In pop culture

Watch this delightful video of OK Go’s song “Skyscrapers.” We’re not sure what dancing the tango has to do with skyscrapers, but notice that the dancers scrape their feet on the ground in many of their steps.

There are other meanings of scrape.
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