• WordNet 3.6
    • adj scurvy of the most contemptible kind "abject cowardice","a low stunt to pull","a low-down sneak","his miserable treatment of his family","You miserable skunk!","a scummy rabble","a scurvy trick"
    • n scurvy a condition caused by deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: English sailors were referred to as "limeys" because sailors added lime juice to their diet to combat scurvy
    • n Scurvy (Med) A disease characterized by livid spots, especially about the thighs and legs, due to extravasation of blood, and by spongy gums, and bleeding from almost all the mucous membranes. It is accompanied by paleness, languor, depression, and general debility. It is occasioned by confinement, innutritious food, and hard labor, but especially by lack of fresh vegetable food, or confinement for a long time to a limited range of food, which is incapable of repairing the waste of the system. It was formerly prevalent among sailors and soldiers.
    • Scurvy Covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; scurfy; specifically, diseased with the scurvy. "Whatsoever man . . . be scurvy or scabbed."
    • Scurvy Vile; mean; low; vulgar; contemptible. "A scurvy trick.""That scurvy custom of taking tobacco.""He] spoke spoke such scurvy and provoking terms."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Captain Cook lost 41 of his 98 crew to scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) on his first voyage to the South Pacific in 1768. By 1795 the importance of eating citrus was realized, and lemon juice was issued on all British Navy ships.
    • scurvy Scurfy; covered or affected with scurf or scabs; scabby; diseased with scurvy; scorbutic.
    • scurvy Vile; mean; low; vulgar; worthless; contemptible; paltry; shabby: as, a scurvy fellow.
    • scurvy Offensive; mischievous; malicious.
    • n scurvy A disease usually presenting swollen, spongy, easily bleeding gums, fibrinous effusion into some of the muscles, rendering them hard and brawny, hemorrhages beneath the skin, rheumatoid pains, anemia, and prostration. It occurs at all ages and in all climates, and usually develops in those employing an unvaried diet, especially one from which vegetables are excluded. Also called scorbutus.
    • n scurvy The black mustard, Brassica nigra.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Scurvy skur′vi scurfy: affected with scurvy: scorbutic: shabby: vile, vulgar, contemptible
    • n Scurvy a disease marked by livid spots on the skin and general debility, due to an improper dietary, and particularly an insufficient supply of fresh vegetable food
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Get thee glass eyes, and like a scurvy politician, seem to see the things thou dost not.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Probably from the same source as scorbute, but influenced by scurf, scurfy, scurvy, adj.; cf. D. scheurbuik, scurvy, G. scharbock, LL. scorbutus,. Cf. Scorbute


In literature:

Handel thought the orchestra was just playing him a scurvy trick.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14" by Elbert Hubbard
As a consequence scurvy and other diseases broke out and many of the men died.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 9 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Frost-bite maimed them at first; then scurvy, dysentery, fever, began to kill.
"Fort Amity" by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
We're a rough set; but we don't lay out to see no wimmen treated scurvy.
"The Blunders of a Bashful Man" by Metta Victoria Fuller Victor
The treatment of scurvy is change of diet from "patent foods" to fresh cow's milk, with the addition of orange juice, daily.
"The Mother and Her Child" by William S. Sadler
The ship's crew was, to tell the truth, a scurvy company.
"Sir Ludar" by Talbot Baines Reed
Such as were sick of the scurvy or other diseases have not wanted physick or chyrurgery.
"The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2" by Egerton Ryerson
Take your Johnson, and look out the adjective Scurvy, in its higher or figurative sense.
"Love's Meinie" by John Ruskin
But that scurvy journalist is taking his revenge on us for refusing him twenty thousand francs.
"The Nabob, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Alphonse Daudet
Thou hast a hanging look thou scurvy thing, hast ne'er a knife Nor ever a string to lead thee to Elysium?
"The Principles of English Versification" by Paull Franklin Baum

In poetry:

Leaking, reeking, nail-sick,
Rolling home again
With their scurvy-rotten seamen
And the plunder of the Main.
"The Queen's Ships" by Cicely Fox Smith
Aw rarely have a sickly spell,--
Mi appetite aw'm fain to tell
Ne'er plays noa scurvy tricks on me,
Nowt ivver seems to disagree.
"Fairly Weel-off" by John Hartley
I searched the essies," dour with doubt . . .
Darn! It was plain as day
The scurvy knaves had left me out . . .
Oh was I mad? I'll say.
"Include Me Out" by Robert W Service
"I heard onst of a barque," said Murphy.
"Becalmed, that couldn't get a breath,
Till all the crowd was sick with scurvy
An' the skipper drunk himself to death."
"Doldrums: One Of Murphy's Yarns" by Cicely Fox Smith
"A scurvy rogue!" continued Quog.
'Twas easy to outwit the dog.
Altho', perhaps, I risked my life -
I've heard he's handy with a knife.
Ah, well, 'twas for my country's sake . . .
(Thanks; just one slice of currant cake.)"
"The Debate" by C J Dennis
The Thursday after that, at three,
The King invited Quog to tea.
Quoth Quog, "It was a task to bilk . . .
(I thank you; sugar, please, and milk) . . .
To bilk this Tinker and his pranks.
A scurvy rogue! . . . (Ah, two lumps, thanks.)
"The Debate" by C J Dennis

In news:

Fans of KingsIsle Entertainment's family-friendly online adventure game Wizard101 will get their chance to play the game's follow-up title faster than you can keelhaul a scurvy sea dog.
Time was, vitamins were used mostly in hospital wards to treat malnourishment: vitamin B3 for pellagra, vitamin C for scurvy, vitamin D for rickets.
C alifornia cold snap or not, you need to eat your winter citrus or (as Mom used to say) you'll get scurvy.
Aboard one of His Majesty's ships, a British doctor begins clinical testing that will uncover the cause of scurvy and lead to its cure.
Seafaring in the age of sail was backbreaking work and fraught with peril, but the sailor's real scourge was scurvy.
We had Boneless Skanless MC Breed, Scurvy, The Dayton Family and the list goes on.
On the day we celebrate today, 520 years thereafter, Christopher Columbus stepped off a frail, water-sodden, scurvy-ridden vessel onto a Bahamian island — which island isn't known — and discovered political correctness.
Scurvy, being eaten alive by a flock of frenzied flamingos, bursting into flames.
James Cook figured out (mostly) how to prevent scurvy.
Schlock Tactics Texas punk rockers are tacky, nasty, nervy scurvy, and usually not very good musicians.
She has become quite the scurvy dog.
No matter what you're selling, references to scurvy are usually best avoided.