Adjective "scrabbling" definition and examples

(Scrabbling may not be an adjective, but it can be used as an adjective, click here to find out.)



Definitions and examples


Scratch or grope around with one's fingers to find, collect, or hold on to something.
  1. 'Meanwhile I'm scrabbling in the bottom of my bag for coins, and skipping out on dinner because I don't want to spend $7 on soup.'
  2. 'They scrabbled desperately at the rubble with their bear hands for signs of life.'
  3. 'His fingers scrabbled at the stone and found holds, but not before he dropped a foot.'
  4. '‘Sorry’ she mumbled, scrabbling on the floor for her dropped items.'
  5. 'Giles tugged desperately at the manacles, his fingers scrabbling upward against the chain dangling them from the ceiling.'
  6. 'It was pitch black and we were scrabbling around until 1am trying to find them.'
  7. 'He took his backpack off before lying completely on the floor and furiously scrabbling at the mortar with his fingers.'
  8. 'He scrabbled to gain a grip on the wall and hold himself up as he breathed in the sweet air like an addict.'
  9. 'Flinging open a cupboard and desperately scrabbling for some anti-inflammatory cream, I curse myself for positioning it in the most difficult to reach area of the top shelf.'
  10. 'She scrabbled in vain for purchase on the stone floor, which was smooth from the years of pedestrian traffic pounding the irregularities into powder.'
  11. 'a lonely dog was scrabbling at the door'
  12. 'His serenity makes you feel like a clucking chicken, scrabbling and pecking at the dusty ground, while he sits back and watches.'
  13. 'Last year one dog had to have two toes amputated after scrabbling insanely at his pen.'
  14. 'Birds and other unseen creatures scrabble about in the windswept bushes of central park, but I would rather not deliberate too much about that.'
  15. 'We've also had to put some rodent poison up there as something is scrabbling around - we haven't seen it so we don't know what!'
  16. 'The pigeons on the ledge outside scrabbled from side to side, as Catherine tapped at the glass with a fingernail.'
  17. 'Therre was no scratching and scrabbling in the dirt for these birds.'
  18. 'This sunny, summer evening, we are watching small dogs scrabble around on a drab linoleum floor.'
  19. 'It may be an idea to have no bare earth for the cats to scrabble in.'
  20. 'lizards scrabbling across the walls'
  21. 'Enter Dad, in flannel pyjamas, scrabbling across the floor on all fours.'
  22. '‘Remove your hands,’ said Sean in a harsh voice while Sakura quickly scrabbled away and leaned on the wall.'
  23. 'It was he who broke free first, delivering a hard kick to her stomach as he scrabbled away, his fingers reaching frantically for the hilt of his own knife.'
  24. 'He glanced back to where his wife was having to use her hands sometimes to scrabble up the steep climb, eyes intent on the rock face.'
  25. 'I quickly scrabbled off the floor and ran to the bathroom; stripping off my clothes in a hurry.'
  26. 'Then seeing the man lunge at her, she screeched and tried to scrabble away towards the garden maze.'
  27. 'Should he scrabble backwards towards the house?'
  28. 'At this Enela scrabbled to her feet, rushing for the door and her leave.'
  29. 'Because it makes us all richer, it enables us to concentrate more on non-material things instead of spending all our time scrabbling for a living.'
  30. 'Many firms have been scrabbling about to find extra capital - either from parent banks or from the bond market - to prop up solvency ratios.'
  31. 'The proof of his invincibility in the big race is that everyone is scrabbling around trying to find a British opponent with any kind of chance of winning.'
  32. 'At the time of writing, they are still scrabbling around for no less than half of the necessary funding.'
  33. 'The original moon landing race was a bipolar affair, with America and Russia urgently scrabbling to make space a ‘sphere of influence’.'
  34. 'Countless fans were left scrabbling around for alternative sources after a mysterious, erroneous e-mail was sent out to thousands of subscribers in the UK.'
  35. 'The very lucratively paid Canadians are embarrassingly, shamelessly scrabbling for excuses as to why they were well-beaten by a much better team of non-professionals.'
  36. 'Already rival ethnic, religious, tribal and clan leaders are scrabbling for a place on the interim administration which will govern the country until free elections are held.'
  37. 'You wonder how frustrating it must be, still scrabbling to plug holes in low budgets after years of eager critical acclaim?'


An act of scratching or scrambling for something.
  1. 'All was silent except the panting of the Ellingham's and the occasional scrabble at the door.'
  2. 'She had heard the distinct scrabble of rats and was positive she would never be able to rid her clothing of the stench.'
  3. 'At one point there was a mad scrabble for the ball and the umpire blew for a bounce.'
  4. 'She latched onto it and made a scrabble for safety.'
  5. 'There was a scrabble on concrete and she felt hands on her face.'
  6. 'Late one evening I heard a scrabble on the roof.'
A game in which players build up words on a board from small lettered squares or tiles.
  1. 'A few jokes were made about them playing Scrabble on the tour bus.'
  2. 'I, on the other hand, will be feeding my face and cleaning the kitchen before heading back up here to play Scrabble.'

More definitions

1. to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands.

2. to grapple or struggle with or as if with the claws or hands.

3. to scrawl; scribble. verb (used without object), scrabbled, scrabbling.

4. to scratch or dig frantically with the hands; claw (often followed by at): scrabbling at a locked door to escape the flames.

5. to jostle or struggle for possession of something; grab or collect something in a disorderly way; scramble. noun

More examples(as adjective)

"sorts can be scrabbling."


(scrabble)Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘make marks at random, scrawl’): from Middle Dutch schrabbelen, frequentative of schrabben ‘to scrape’. The noun sense ‘struggle to achieve something’ is originally a North American usage dating from the late 18th century.