• (RP) IPA: /ˈskaʊə/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈskaʊɚ/, /skaʊɹ/

scour (scours, present participle scouring; past and past participle scoured)

  1. (transitive) To clean#Verb|clean, polish#Verb|polish, or wash#Verb|wash something by rub#Verb|rubbing and scrub#Verb|scrubbing it vigorously, frequently with an abrasive#Noun|abrasive or cleaning#Adjective|cleaning agent.
    He scoured the burnt food from the pan.
    • 1762, [Laurence Sterne], chapter IX, in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, volume V, London: Printed for T. Becket and P. A. Dehondt, […], OCLC 959921544 ↗, page 52 ↗:
      They all looked directly at the ſcullion,—the ſcullion had juſt been ſcouring a fiſh-kettle.
  2. (transitive) To remove#Verb|remove debris and dirt by purging; to sweep#Verb|sweep along or off (by a current#Noun|current of water#Noun|water).
    • c. 1597, [William Shakespeare], The History of Henrie the Fovrth; […], quarto edition, London: Printed by P[eter] S[hort] for Andrew Wise, […], published 1598, OCLC 932916628 ↗, [Act III, scene ii] ↗:
      I will redeeme all this on Percies head, / And in the cloſing of ſome glorious day / Be bold to tell you that I am your ſonne, / When I will weare a garment all of bloud, / And ſtaine my fauors in a bloudy maske, / Which waſht away ſhall ſcoure my ſhame with it, {{...}
      I will redeem myself by defeating Percy, / And at the close of some glorious day, / [I will] be bold to tell you that I am your son, / When I will be covered in blood like wearing a garment, / And my face is stained with blood as if wearing a mask, / Which, when washed away, shall scour my shame with it, {{...}
  3. (transitive, veterinary medicine) To clear#Verb|clear the digestive tract by administering medication that induces defecation or vomiting#Noun|vomiting; to purge#Verb|purge.
    to scour a horse
  4. (ambitransitive, veterinary medicine) To (cause#Verb|cause livestock to) suffer from diarrhoea or dysentery.
    If a lamb is scouring, do not delay treatment.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To cleanse (without rub#Verb|rubbing).
    • 1627, [Francis Bacon], “IV. Century. [Experiment Solitary Touching Nitre [marginal note].]”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. […], London: Published after the authors death, by VVilliam Rawley; printed by I[ohn] H[aviland and Augustine Mathewes] for William Lee […], OCLC 1044242069 ↗; Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. […], 3rd edition, London: Published […] by VVilliam Rawley. Printed by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee […], 1631, OCLC 1044372886 ↗, paragraph 362, [;view=1up;seq=113 page 95]:
      It is reported, that in ſome Lakes, the Water is ſo Nitrous, as if Foule Cloathes be put into it, it ſcoureth them of it ſelfe: And if they ſtay any whit long, they moulder away. And the Scouring Vertue of Nitre is the more to be noted, becauſe it is a Body Cold; And wee ſee Warme Water ſcoureth better than Cold.