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1. To hastily draw one or more lines through something, either to conceal it or indicate that it should be skipped, ignored, or canceled. Third step in the instructions was scratched out, so I figured I was supposed to skip it—what else was I supposed to think? My mother used to go through the books and magazines in our house and scratch the dirty words out with a ballpoint pen.
2. To eliminate or strike through someone's or something's name from a list. A noun or pronoun can be used between "scratch" and "off"; usually followed by "from" and the kind of list being mentioned. Well, that's another thing we can scratch out from our to-do list for our trip through Europe. I had to scratch him out from the list of players for Saturday's game when I found out he was failing in three subjects. I had to scratch Jenny out from the roster because she was late for the third time in a row.
3. To write or draw something hastily by hand. He quickly scratched out a phone number on a slip of paper and pushed it across the desk to me. I scratched out a crude sketch of the attacker while his face was fresh in my mind.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
scratch someone or something out
to mark out the name of someone or something. I scratched John out and wrote in George instead. I scratched out John and forgot about him.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To draw a line or lines on something to delete or obscure it, or to indicate that it should be canceled or ignored: Scratch out anything on the shopping list that you think is too expensive. I didn't like the words you had written, so I scratched them out.
2. To remove someone or something from a list or record: Scratch out the neighbors from the list—they're not coming to the wedding. I'm not playing tonight, so you can scratch my name out.
3. To get by with some way of life, especially with very few resources: We barely scratched out a living during the war.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.