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scourge Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)
  2. noun something causing misery or death
    bane; nemesis; curse.
    • the bane of my life
  3. noun a person who inspires fear or dread
    terror; threat.
    • he was the terror of the neighborhood
  4. verb punish severely; excoriate
  5. verb whip
    • The religious fanatics flagellated themselves
  6. verb cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    desolate; devastate; lay waste to; ravage; waste.
    • The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion

Scourge noun
F. escourgée, fr. L. excoriata (sc. scutica) a stripped off (lash or whip), fr. excoriate to strip, to skin. See Excoriate.
  1. A lash; a strap or cord; especially, a lash used to inflict pain or punishment; an instrument of punishment or discipline; a whip.
    Up to coach then goes The observed maid, takes both the scourge and reins. Chapman.
  2. Hence, a means of inflicting punishment, vengeance, or suffering; an infliction of affliction; a punishment.
    Sharp scourges of adversity. Chaucer.
    What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence? Shak.
Scourge transitive verb
From Scourge, n.: cf. OF. escorgier.
imperfect & past participle Scourged ; present participle & verbal noun Scourging
  1. To whip severely; to lash.
    is it lawful for you to scourge a . . . Roman? Acts xxii. 25.
  2. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict, as for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.
    Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb. xii. 6.
  3. To harass or afflict severely.
    To scourge and impoverish the people. Brougham.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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