1. The skin covering the top of the human head.
2. A portion of this skin with its attached hair, cut from a body especially as a battle trophy or as proof in claiming a bounty.
3. A piece of hide from the skull of certain animals, such as the fox, shown as proof of killing in order to collect a bounty.
v. scalped, scalp·ing, scalps
1. To cut or tear the scalp from.
2. To deprive of top growth or a top layer: land scalped by strip miners.
3. To resell at a price higher than the established value: scalping tickets to the baseball game.
4. To buy and sell (securities or commodities) in order to make small quick profits.
1. To engage in the reselling of something, such as tickets, at a price higher than the established value.
2. To buy and sell securities or commodities for small quick profits.
[Middle English, top of the head, of Scandinavian origin; see skel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.