1The skin covering the head, excluding the face.
- ‘hair tonics will improve the condition of your hair and scalp’
- 1.1 historical The scalp with the hair belonging to it, cut or torn away from an enemy's head as a battle trophy (a practice associated with some North American Indian peoples).
2Scottish A bare rock projecting above surrounding water or vegetation.
transitive verb[with object]
1 historical Take the scalp of (an enemy) as a battle trophy.
- ‘none of the soldiers were scalped’
- 1.1 informal Punish severely.
penalize, discipline, mete out punishment to, bring someone to book, teach someone a lesson, make an example of
- ‘if I ever heard anybody doing that I'd scalp them’
2North American informal Resell (shares or tickets) at a large or quick profit.
- ‘tickets were scalped for forty times their face value’
Middle English (denoting the skull or cranium): probably of Scandinavian origin.