• IPA: /ˈskɹæbəl/

scrabble (scrabbles, present participle scrabbling; past and past participle scrabbled)

  1. (intransitive) To scrape or scratch powerfully with hands or claws.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      […] there came no answer, except the echo of my own voice sounding hollow and far off down in the vault. So in despair I turned back to the earth wall below the slab, and scrabbled at it with my fingers, till my nails were broken and the blood ran out; having all the while a sure knowledge, like a cord twisted round my head, that no effort of mine could ever dislodge the great stone.
  2. (transitive) To gather hastily.
  3. (intransitive) To move with difficulty by making rapid movements back and forth with the hands or paws.
    She was on her hands and knees scrabbling in the mud, looking for her missing wedding ring.
  4. (intransitive) To scribble.
    • Bible, 1 Sam. xxi. 13
      David […] scrabbled on the doors of the gate.
  5. (transitive) To mark with irregular lines or letters; to scribble on.
    to scrabble paper

scrabble (plural scrabbles)

  1. A scramble.
    a scrabble for dear life

  • IPA: /ˈskɹæbl̩/
Proper noun
  1. A board game in which players draw letter tiles and take turns to make interlocking words like a crossword, scoring points according to the letters played and their positions on the board.
    • 1985, Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale:
      So that's what's in the forbidden room! Scrabble! I want to laugh... This was once the game of old women, old men, in the summers or in retirement villas, to be played when there was nothing good on television. Or of adolescents, once, long long ago... Now of course it's something different... It's as if he's offered me drugs.
    • 2000, Eric T. Olson and Tammy Perry Olson, Real-Life Math: Statistics, Walch Publishing, ISBN 0825138639, page 56:
      Start by asking students if they ever watch Wheel of Fortune, or play games like Hangman or Scrabble.® Ask whether they have ever noticed any patterns in the frequency with which letters appear.
    • 2012 August 18, Bill Kurtis, “Listener Limerick Challenge”, Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!, National Public Radio:
      At the tournament level I dabble
      But my tiles show a meaningless babble
      I filled up my ranks
      With a few extra blanks
      And got busted for cheating at Scrabble

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