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September 12, 2017

Word of the Day: Scour

1 CQ

Word of the Day : September 12, 2017

scour \SKOW-er\ verb


1 : to move about quickly especially in search

2 : to go through or range over in or as if in a search


The dog scoured the terrain in search of the tennis ball I had thrown.

"The rescue team scoured the ground and a New Hampshire National Guard Black Hawk helicopter also searched the area." — Emily Sweeney, The Boston Globe, 18 July 2017

Did You Know?

There are two distinct homographs of the verb scour in English. One means to clean something by rubbing it hard with a rough object; that scour, which goes back to at least the early 14th century, probably derives—via Middle Dutch and Old French—from a Late Latin verb, excurare, meaning "to clean off." Today's word, however, which appears in the 13th century, is believed to derive from the Old Norse skūr, meaning "shower." (Skūr is also distantly related to the Old English scūr, the ancestor of our English word shower.) Many disparate things can be scoured. For example, one can scour an area (as in "scoured the woods in search of the lost dog") or publications (as in "scouring magazine and newspaper articles").

Aired September 12, 2017

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