scrape / skrāp/ • v. 1. [tr.] push or pull a hard or sharp implement across (a surface or object) so as to remove dirt or other matter: rinse off the carrots and scrape them we scraped the dishes clean. ∎ use a sharp or hard implement to remove (dirt or unwanted matter) from something: she scraped the mud off her shoes. ∎ apply (a hard or sharp implement) in this way: he scraped the razor across the stubble on his cheek. ∎ make (a hollow) by scraping away soil or rock: he found a ditch, scraped a hole, and put the bag in it.2. rub or cause to rub by accident against a rough or hard surface, causing damage or injury: [intr.] he smashed into the wall and felt his knee scrape against the plaster | [tr.] she reversed in a reckless sweep, scraping the left front fender. ∎ [tr.] draw or move (something) along or over something else, making a harsh noise: she scraped back her chair and stood up. ∎ [intr.] move with or make such a sound: she lifted the gate to prevent its scraping along the ground. ∎ [intr.] humorous play a violin or similar stringed instrument tunelessly: Katie was scraping away at her cello. ∎ [tr.] draw one's hair tightly back off the forehead: her hair was scraped back into a ponytail.3. [tr.] just manage to achieve; accomplish with great effort or difficulty: for some years he scraped a living as a tutor. ∎ (scrape something together/up) collect or accumulate something with difficulty: they could hardly scrape up enough money for one ticket, let alone two. ∎ [intr.] try to save as much money as possible; economize: they had scrimped and scraped and saved for years. ∎ [intr.] (scrape by/along) manage to live with difficulty: she has to scrape by on Social Security. ∎ [intr.] narrowly pass by or through something: there was only just room to scrape through between the tree and the edge of the stream. ∎ [intr.] barely manage to succeed in a particular undertaking: Clinton scraped into office in 1992 he scraped through the entrance exam.• n. 1. an act or sound of scraping: he heard the scrape of his mother's key in the lock. ∎ an injury or mark caused by scraping: there was a long, shallow scrape on his shin. ∎ a place where soil has been scraped away, esp. a shallow hollow formed in the ground by a bird during a courtship display or for nesting. ∎ inf. Med. a procedure of dilatation of the cervix and curettage of the uterus, or the result of this. ∎ archaic an obsequious bow in which one foot is drawn backward along the ground.2. inf. an embarrassing or difficult predicament caused by one's own unwise behavior: he'd been in worse scrapes than this before now.PHRASES: scrape acquaintance with dated contrive to get to know: aboard the ship, a nice girl scraped acquaintance with me.scrape the bottom of the barrel inf. be reduced to using things or people of the poorest quality because there is nothing else available.