English Dictionary

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scupper1 (ˈskʌpə Pronunciation for scupper1



  1. (nautical) a drain or spout allowing water on the deck of a vessel to flow overboard
  2. an opening in the side of a building for draining off water
  3. a drain in a factory floor for running off the water from a sprinkler system

Word Origin

C15 skopper, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to scoop

scupper2 (ˈskʌpə Pronunciation for scupper2


verb (transitive)

  1. (slang) to overwhelm, ruin, or disable
  2. to sink (one's ship) deliberately

Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin

Example Sentences Including 'scupper'

Any decision made on those grounds would be monstrous, guaranteed to scupper any chance of being a decent person, let alone a good writer.
Gwyneth Lewis SUNBATHING IN THE RAIN (2002)
But a dispute over facts in the case threatened to scupper the plea.
Ottawa Sun (2003)
If the other side cracks the code they could throw you in jail-or change their plans to scupper your work.
New Scientist (1999)
The UN also warned that a resumption of civil wars in three of the stricken countries will scupper aid efforts.
Mail and Guardian (2005)
The former England Under-21 international was set to sign for Everton in a £5m deal in August only for a knee injury to scupper the deal.
Liverpool Daily Post and Echo (2004)
Webb closed his eyes briefly, hoping the spontaneous gesture wouldn't scupper the SOCOs" chances of lifting vital fibres.
Fraser, Anthea The Gospel Makers


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