Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SCORE

The texture of food is entitled to a score of 20 if it is perfect.

One more round of mead or ale and the score to the last comer.

The score was begun on August 12 and finished on October 24.

I played as heartily as I worked, but I studied with a will, too, and passed a score of mates.

All the sales of sheep and lambs are by the "clad score" which contains twenty-one.

In the circumstances we could not look to be pardoned, even on the score of youth.

On the score of health they may compare favourably with any race.

Henceforth I have another score against Morella, and I will pay it too.

Well, I owed him a long score, and I have paid him off in full.

But self-improvement is a dull game when there is no one to applaud your score.

WORD ORIGIN

late Old English scoru "twenty," from Old Norse skor "mark, notch, incision; a rift in rock," also, in Icelandic, "twenty," from Proto-Germanic *skura-, from PIE root *(s)ker- "to cut" (see shear).

The connecting notion probably is counting large numbers (of sheep, etc.) with a notch in a stick for each 20. That way of counting, called vigesimalism, also exists in French: In Old French, "twenty" (vint) or a multiple of it could be used as a base, e.g. vint et doze ("32"), dous vinz et diz ("50"). Vigesimalism was or is a feature of Welsh, Irish, Gaelic and Breton (as well as non-IE Basque), and it is speculated that the English and the French picked it up from the Celts. Cf. tally (n.).

The prehistoric sense of the Germanic word, then, likely was "straight mark like a scratch, line drawn by a sharp instrument," but in English this is attested only from c.1400, along with the sense "mark made (on a chalkboard, etc.) to keep count of a customer's drinks in a tavern." This sense was extended by 1670s to "mark made for purpose of recording a point in a game or match," and thus "aggregate of points made by contestants in certain games and matches" (1742, originally in whist).

From the tavern-keeping sense comes the meaning "amount on an innkeeper's bill" (c.1600) and thus the figurative verbal expression settle scores (1775). Meaning "printed piece of music" first recorded 1701, said to be from the practice of connecting related staves by scores of lines. Especially "music composed for a film" (1927). Meaning "act of obtaining narcotic drugs" is by 1951.

Scoreboard is from 1826; score-keeping- from 1905; newspaper sports section score line is from 1965; baseball score-card is from 1877.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SCORE

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.