adjective, scratch·i·er, scratch·i·est.

  1. causing or liable to cause a slight grating noise: a scratchy record.
  2. consisting of or marked by scratches: a scratchy drawing.
  3. uneven; haphazard: He plays a scratchy game.
  4. causing itching or other minor irritation of the skin: a scratchy woolen sweater.
  5. causing or liable to cause a scratch or scratches: scratchy bushes.
  6. Chiefly British Slang. peevish; spiteful.

adj.1710, “affected with ‘the scratch,'” a skin disease, from scratch (n.1) + -y (2). Meaning “composed of scratches” is from 1827; that of “grating” is from 1866. Of sounds (especially in reproduction) from 1889. Related: Scratchiness.

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