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Scratch vs. Itch: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Scratch is the action of scraping the skin with nails, while an itch is a sensation that provokes the desire to scratch.
Scratch vs. Itch

Key Differences

Scratch refers to the physical act of scraping or rubbing the skin, typically with nails or a sharp object, to relieve an irritation. Itch, on the other hand, is the uncomfortable sensation that leads to the urge to scratch.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Scratching is a voluntary response to the feeling of an itch, which can provide temporary relief from the sensation. An itch is a feeling often caused by irritation of the skin, prompting the reflex to scratch.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
The purpose of a scratch is to address the itch, which can be caused by various factors such as allergies, insect bites, or dry skin. Itches are sensations that can range from mild to intense, often driving the need to scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
While scratching can immediately soothe an itch, it can also lead to further irritation or damage to the skin if excessive. Itches can sometimes be relieved through other means such as applying ointments or taking antihistamines, without the need to scratch.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Scratching is a mechanical action, while an itch is a sensory experience, often part of the body's response to some kind of external or internal irritant. The relationship between an itch and a scratch is cyclical, where an itch leads to scratching, which can sometimes intensify the itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A physical action of scraping the skin.
A sensation causing the desire to scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Purpose

To relieve the sensation of itching.
To signal irritation or discomfort.
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Nov 28, 2023

Nature

Voluntary and physical.
Sensory and often involuntary.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Cause

Response to an itch.
Caused by irritation, allergy, or other stimuli.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Relief

Can provide temporary relief from itching.
Can be relieved by scratching or other remedies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Scratch and Itch Definitions

Scratch

Scratch is to scrape or rub a surface, especially skin, with something sharp or rough.
The cat left a scratch on the sofa with its claws.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Itch

Itch refers to an uncomfortable sensation on the skin that provokes a desire to scratch.
A persistent itch on her back was bothering her all day.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Scratch

Scratch can mean to make a shallow cut or mark on a surface with a sharp object.
Be careful not to scratch the paint on the car.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Itch

Itch can mean a restless or strong desire for something.
He's always had an itch for adventure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Scratch

Scratch refers to the act of scraping the skin with nails to relieve itching.
He had to scratch his arm where the mosquito bit him.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023
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Itch

In colloquial use, itch can represent a nagging or persistent problem.
Solving the puzzle was an itch he couldn't scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Scratch

Scratch is also used to describe starting something from the beginning.
They decided to scratch the original concept and develop a new strategy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Itch

An irritating skin sensation causing a desire to scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To make a thin shallow cut or mark on (a surface) with a sharp instrument.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Any of various skin disorders, such as scabies, marked by intense irritation and itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To use the nails or claws to dig or scrape at.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A restless desire or craving for something
An itch to travel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To rub or scrape (the skin) to relieve itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To feel, have, or produce an itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To scrape or strike on an abrasive surface.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To have a desire to scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To write or draw (something) by scraping a surface
Scratched their initials on a rock.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To have a persistent, restless craving.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To write or draw hurriedly
Scratched off a thank-you note.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To cause to itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To strike out or cancel (a word, for example) by or as if by drawing lines through.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To scratch (an itch).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(Slang) To cancel (a project or program, for example).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A sensation felt on an area of the skin that causes a person or animal to want to scratch said area.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To withdraw (an entry) from a contest or competition
The jockey decided to scratch the horse when it sprained its ankle.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A constant teasing desire or want.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To withdraw an entry from (a contest or competition)
Having won three races already, the swimmer scratched her final event.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To feel itchy; to feel a need to be scratched.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To use the nails or claws to dig, scrape, or wound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

(intransitive) To have a constant, teasing urge; to feel strongly motivated; to want or desire something.
He started learning to drive and he has been itching for opportunities to practice ever since.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To rub or scrape the skin to relieve itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

(transitive) To cause to feel an itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To make a harsh scraping sound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To scratch or rub so as to relieve an itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To gather funds or produce a living with difficulty.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To have an uneasy sensation in the skin, which inclines the person to scratch the part affected.
My mouth hath itched all this long day.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To withdraw from a contest or competition.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

To have a constant desire or teasing uneasiness; to long for; as, itching ears.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(Games) To make a shot in billiards that results in a penalty, as when the cue ball falls into a pocket or jumps the cushion.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

An eruption of small, isolated, acuminated vesicles, produced by the entrance of a parasitic mite (the Sarcoptes scabei), and attended with itching. It is transmissible by contact.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A mark resembling a line that is produced by scratching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Any itching eruption.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A slight wound.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A sensation in the skin occasioned (or resembling that occasioned) by the itch eruption; - called also scabies, psora, etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A hasty scribble.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A constant irritating desire.
An itch of being thought a divine king.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A sound made by scratching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A contagious skin infection caused by the itch mite; characterized by persistent itching and skin irritation;
He has a bad case of the itch
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(Sports) The starting line for a race.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

A strong restless desire;
Why this urge to travel?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A contestant who has been withdrawn from a competition.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

An irritating cutaneous sensation that produces a desire to scratch
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

The act of scratching in billiards.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Scrape or rub as if to relieve itching;
Don't scratch your insect bites!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A fluke or chance shot in billiards.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Have or perceive an itch;
I'm itching--the air is so dry!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Poultry feed.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Have a strong desire or urge to do something;
She is itching to start the project
He is spoiling for a fight
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(Slang) Money.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Itch is used to describe a minor annoyance or irritation.
The constant noise from the construction site became an itch he couldn't ignore.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Scratch

Done haphazardly or by chance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Itch

Itch may also imply a desire or urge to do something.
After years of routine, she felt the itch to travel the world.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Scratch

Assembled hastily or at random.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(Sports) Having no golf handicap.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To rub a surface with a sharp object, especially by a living creature to remove itching with nails, claws, etc.
Could you please scratch my back?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To rub the skin with rough material causing a sensation of irritation; to cause itching.
I don't like that new scarf because it scratches my neck.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To irritate someone's skin with one's unshaven beard when kissing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To mark a surface with a sharp object, thereby leaving a scratch (noun).
A real diamond can easily scratch a pane of glass.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(of a surface) to get such scratches
This platter scratches easily.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To cross out, strike out, strike through some text on a page.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Hence, to remove, ignore, or delete.
Scratch what I said earlier; I was wrong.
When the favorite was scratched from the race, there was a riot at the betting windows.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(music) To produce a distinctive sound on a turntable by moving a vinyl record back and forth while manipulating the crossfader (see also scratching).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(billiards) To commit a foul in pool, as where the cue ball is put into a pocket or jumps off the table.
Embarrassingly, he scratched on the break, popping the cue completely off the table.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To score, not by skillful play but by some fortunate chance of the game.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To write or draw hastily or awkwardly; scrawl.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(ambitransitive) To dig or excavate with the claws.
Some animals scratch holes, in which they burrow.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To dig or scrape (a person's skin) with claws or fingernails in self-defense or with the intention to injure.
The cat scratched the little girl.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To announce one's non-participation in a race or sports event part of a larger sports meeting that they were previously signed up for, usually in lieu of another event at the same meeting.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A disruption, mark or shallow cut on a surface made by scratching.
I can’t believe there is a scratch in the paint already.
Her skin was covered with tiny scratches.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

An act of scratching the skin to alleviate an itch or irritation.
The dog sat up and had a good scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(sports)
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A starting line (originally and simply, a line scratched in the ground), as in boxing.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A technical error of touching or surpassing the starting mark prior to the official start signal in the sporting events of long jump, discus, hammer throw, shot put, and similar. Originally the starting mark was a scratch on the ground but is now a board or precisely indicated mark.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(cycling) The last riders to depart in a handicap race.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(billiards) An aberration.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(horse racing) A horse withdrawn from a race prior to the start.
There were two scratches in race 8, which reduced the field from 9 horses to 7.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(meiosis) An injury.
It's just a scratch!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(slang) Money.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A feed, usually a mixture of a few common grains, given to chickens.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(in the plural) Minute, but tender and troublesome, excoriations, covered with scabs, upon the heels of horses which have been used where it is very wet or muddy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A scratch wig.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(music) A genre of Virgin Islander music, better known as fungi.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Scrawled or illegible handwriting; chicken scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

For or consisting of preliminary or tentative, incomplete, etc. work.
This is scratch paper, so go ahead and scribble whatever you want on it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Hastily assembled, arranged or constructed, from whatever materials are to hand, with little or no preparation
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(computing) Relating to a scratchpad, a data structure or recording medium attached to a machine for testing or temporary use.
Scratch memory
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

(sports) (of a player) Of a standard high enough to play without a handicap, i.e. to compete without the benefit of a variation in scoring based on ability.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To rub and tear or mark the surface of with something sharp or ragged; to scrape, roughen, or wound slightly by drawing something pointed or rough across, as the claws, the nails, a pin, or the like.
Small sand-colored stones, so hard as to scratch glass.
Be mindful, when invention fails,To scratch your head, and bite your nails.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To write or draw hastily or awkwardly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To cancel by drawing one or more lines through, as the name of a candidate upon a ballot, or of a horse in a list; hence, to erase; to efface; - often with out.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To dig or excavate with the claws; as, some animals scratch holes, in which they burrow.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To use the claws or nails in tearing or in digging; to make scratches.
Dull, tame things, . . . that will neither bite nor scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

To score, not by skillful play but by some fortunate chance of the game.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A break in the surface of a thing made by scratching, or by rubbing with anything pointed or rough; a slight wound, mark, furrow, or incision.
The coarse file . . . makes deep scratches in the work.
These nails with scratches deform my breast.
God forbid a shallow scratch should driveThe prince of Wales from such a field as this.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A line across the prize ring; up to which boxers are brought when they join fight; hence, test, trial, or proof of courage; as, to bring to the scratch; to come up to the scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Minute, but tender and troublesome, excoriations, covered with scabs, upon the heels of horses which have been used where it is very wet or muddy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A kind of wig covering only a portion of the head.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A shot which scores by chance and not as intended by the player; a fluke.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

In various sports, the line from which the start is made, except in the case of contestants receiving a distance handicap.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Made, done, or happening by chance; arranged with little or no preparation; determined by circumstances; haphazard; as, a scratch team; a scratch crew for a boat race; a scratch shot in billiards.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

An abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A depression scratched or carved into a surface
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Informal terms for money
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Dry mash for poultry
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

A harsh noise made by scraping;
The scrape of violin bows distracted her
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Poor handwriting
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

An indication of damage
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Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Cause friction;
My sweater scratches
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Cut the surface of; wear away the surface of
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

Scrape or rub as if to relieve itching;
Don't scratch your insect bites!
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Scratch

In a broader sense, scratch means to eliminate or cancel something.
The plans for the outdoor event were scratched due to rain.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 24, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What causes an itch?

Itches can be caused by various factors like dry skin, allergies, or insect bites.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What is an itch?

An itch is an uncomfortable sensation on the skin that causes a desire to scratch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can scratching relieve an itch?

Yes, scratching can temporarily relieve the sensation of an itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are there diseases associated with chronic itching?

Yes, conditions like eczema or psoriasis can cause chronic itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What does scratch mean?

Scratch means to rub or scrape the skin, or a surface, with a sharp or rough object.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is scratching always the best way to relieve an itch?

Not always, as excessive scratching can damage the skin.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What are some alternatives to scratching?

Alternatives include using moisturizers, anti-itch creams, or cold compresses.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can scratching spread an itch?

In some cases, like with rashes, scratching can spread the irritant and worsen the itch.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is an itch always visible on the skin?

Not always; some itches may not have any visible signs on the skin.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can mental health affect itching?

Yes, mental health issues like anxiety can sometimes manifest as itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How can I prevent scratching in my sleep?

Keeping nails short and using anti-itch creams before bed can help.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can scratching lead to infection?

Yes, if the skin is broken, scratching can introduce bacteria and lead to infection.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can an itch be psychological?

Yes, sometimes an itch can be caused by psychological factors like stress.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can both animals and humans experience itching?

Yes, both animals and humans can experience and respond to itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are there medical treatments for severe itching?

Yes, treatments include antihistamines, corticosteroids, or other medications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Does hydration affect skin itchiness?

Yes, well-hydrated skin is less likely to be dry and itchy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is itchiness a common allergic reaction?

Yes, itchiness is a common symptom of allergic reactions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can certain fabrics worsen itching?

Yes, rough or irritating fabrics can exacerbate itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are there natural remedies for itching?

Yes, remedies like aloe vera or oatmeal baths can soothe itching.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Is it normal for an itch to come and go?

Yes, it's common for the sensation of itching to be intermittent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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