Start from scratch

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Start from scratch is an idiom with roots in sporting events. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrase start from scratch, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To start from scratch means to begin at the beginning, to restart from the beginning or to start over with no source of aid. The idiom start from scratch comes from sporting events such as cricket, horse racing or boxing which begin with people or animals positioned behind a scratch in the ground. In this situation, to start from scratch would also mean to begin without a handicap or head start. The idiom start from scratch is often shortened to simply from scratch, often used to mean to make a meal or bake a pastry made from individual ingredients rather than a processed mix. Related phrases are starts from scratch, started from scratch, starting from scratch.


The position appeared in sync with that of French President Emmanuel Macron, who at the White House on Tuesday proposed expanding on the existing nuclear deal rather than attempting to start from scratch. (The Jerusalem Post)

Despite finishing the past season with her first Olympic medal and breaking the record for most ski jumping World Cup victories, Japan’s Sara Takanashi says she needs to put those achievements aside and start from scratch in order to keep competing among the sport’s elite. (Kyodo News)

“I hope we can have open-minded talks on issues of concern and produce good results, not the kind of results we saw in the past that were not implemented and made us start from scratch again,” Mr. Kim said as the talks began on Friday. (The New York Times)

Scooter’s specializes in hand-tamped espresso drinks, baked-from-scratch pastries and its signature Caramelicious drink. (The Quad-City Times)