- having a rough surface because of minute points or projections.
- indecent or scandalous; risqué; obscene: scabrous books.
- full of difficulties.
- roughened because of small projections; scaly
- indelicate, indecent, or salaciousscabrous humour
- difficult to deal with; knotty
adj.1570s, “harsh, unmusical” (implied in scabrously), from Late Latin scabrosus “rough,” from Latin scaber “rough, scaly,” related to scabere “to scratch, scrape” (see scabies). Sense in English evolved to “vulgar” (1881), “squalid” (1939), and “nasty, repulsive” (c.1951). Classical literal sense of “rough, rugged” attested in English from 1650s. Related: Scabrously; scabrousness.