Definition of scrag in English:


Pronunciation /skraɡ/ /skræɡ/

transitive verbscrags, scragging, scragged

[with object]
  • 1British informal Handle roughly; beat up.

    • ‘I saw one group of traders run off like a startled herd, while three police, like a pack of hunting dogs, scragged the least nimble.’
    1. 1.1US archaic Kill, especially by strangling or hanging.


  • 1An unattractively thin person or animal.

    ‘his companion was a thin scrag of a man’
    • ‘She's a dud, a bit of a scrag if you ask me.’
    • ‘She is a tall scrag of a woman, crouched in profile, alone on a steep verge above the relentless Florida traffic.’
    • ‘They had me and the rest of those scrags and scalawags gyrating all over in some sort of fiendish trance!’
    • ‘I'm not about to let that two-bit scrag get a piece of my action,’ she told journalists.’
    • ‘Xio, who now was wearing a very displeased face replied, ‘My finals don't start till noon you little scrag!’’
    skin and bone, stick, scrag
  • 2archaic, informal A person's neck.

    • ‘‘I don't like this scrag, ‘he answers, pulling at the skin at the top of his neck.’’


Mid 16th century (as a noun): perhaps an alteration of Scots and northern English crag ‘neck’. The verb (mid 18th century) developed the sense ‘handle roughly’ from the early use ‘hang, strangle’.