AskDefine | Define scour

Dictionary Definition

scour n : a place that is scoured (especially by running water)


1 examine minutely; "The police scoured the country for the fugitive"
2 clean with hard rubbing; "She scrubbed his back" [syn: scrub]
3 rub hard or scrub; "scour the counter tops" [syn: abrade]
4 rinse, clean, or empty with a liquid; "flush the wound with antibiotics"; "purge the old gas tank" [syn: flush, purge]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To clean, polish, or wash something by scrubbing it vigorously.
    He scoured the burner pans, to remove the burnt spills.
  2. To search an area thoroughly.
    They scoured the scene of the crime for clues.
  3. Of livestock, to suffer from diarrhea.
    If a lamb is scouring, do not delay treatment.
  4. To move swiftly.

Derived terms


to clean, polish, or wash something by scrubbing it vigorously
  • Norwegian: skrubbe, skure
to search an area thoroughly
of livestock, to suffer from diarrhea
to move swiftly

Extensive Definition

For the physical process, see .
Scour Inc. was a search engine for multimedia on the Internet, and provided Scour Exchange, an early peer-to-peer file exchange service. Scour was founded by five students (Vince Busam, Michael Todd, Dan Rodriques, Jason Droege and Kevin Smilak) from the Computer Science Dept. of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997. It moved into the spotlight in 1999 when former Disney president Michael Ovitz bought about a quarter of its shares.

Company history

The company's early products were an SMB search engine and Scour Media Agent, a Windows application to download files from SMB shares. The search engine would probe IP addresses for publicly shared files and then index them for download by other users. In 1998, the company developed a web search engine as well, crawling the World Wide Web for links to multimedia — audio, video and images.
In 1999 Scour received an investment from Michael Ovitz and the Yucaipa Company, an investment arm of the billionaire Ronald Burkle. Together, the total investment represented a controlling share in the company. After the investment, Scour expanded in terms of product offerings and personnel. The company launched a software product named MyCaster which allowed users to stream audio over the network, optionally mixing microphone input with an MP3 audio file in real time.
Faced with the increasing popularity of Napster, Scour developed a competing peer-to-peer service named Scour Exchange. Unlike Napster, the Scour software supported video and images in addition to just audio files, and integrated all users into one network. The company also tied its web site promotional materials to the Scour Exchange software and attempted to leverage its web and SMB indexes in providing additional search results inside the Scour Exchange application.
In the summer of 2000 the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) brought a lawsuit against Scour, alleging copyright infringement. Despite Scour's declarations of innocence, the company was not able to raise money to continue operations. They laid off most of its staff in September of that year and filed for bankruptcy protection, to protect itself from the lawsuit, shortly afterwards. The company's assets went up for auction and, following a bidding war, all assets were purchased by Centerspan Communications of Portland, Oregon in late December of that year.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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