from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To burn superficially so as to discolor or damage the texture of. See Synonyms at burn1.
- transitive v. To wither or parch with intense heat.
- transitive v. To destroy (land and buildings) by or as if by fire so as to leave nothing salvageable to an enemy army.
- transitive v. To subject to severe censure; excoriate.
- intransitive v. To become scorched or singed.
- intransitive v. To go or move at a very fast, often excessively fast rate.
- n. A slight or surface burn.
- n. A discoloration caused by heat.
- n. Brown spotting on plant leaves caused by fungi, heat, or lack of water.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A slight or surface burn.
- n. A discolouration caused by heat.
- n. Brown discoloration on the leaves of plants caused by heat, lack of water or by fungi.
- v. To burn the surface of something so as to discolour it
- v. To wither, parch or destroy something by heat or fire, especially to make land or buildings unusable to an enemy
- v. To become scorched or singed
- v. To move at high speed (so as to leave scorch marks on the ground)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To burn superficially; to parch, or shrivel, the surface of, by heat; to subject to so much heat as changes color and texture without consuming.
- transitive v. To affect painfully with heat, or as with heat; to dry up with heat; to affect as by heat.
- transitive v. To burn; to destroy by, or as by, fire.
- intransitive v. To be burnt on the surface; to be parched; to be dried up.
- intransitive v. To burn or be burnt.
- intransitive v. To ride or drive at great, usually at excessive, speed; -- applied chiefly to automobilists and bicyclists. [Colloq.]
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To burn superficially; subject to a degree of heat that changes the color, or both the color and the texture, of the surface; parch or shrivel up the surface of by heat; singe.
- To burn or consume, as by the direct application of fire.
- To give the sensation of burning; affect with a sensation or an effect similar to that produced by burning; figuratively, to attack with caustic invective or sarcasm.
- Synonyms Scorch, Singe, Sear, Char. Parch. To scorch is to burn superficially or slightly, but so as to change the color or injure the texture; sometimes, from the common effect of heat, the word suggests shriveling or curling, but not generally. Singe is one degree more external than scorch; we speak of singeing the hair and scorching the skin; a fowl is singed to remove the hairs after plucking out the feathers. Sear has primary reference to drying, but more commonly to hardening, by heat, as by cauterization; hence its figurative use, as when we speak of seared sensibilities, a seared conscience, heat not being thought of as a part of the figure. To char is to reduce to carbon or a black cinder, especially on the surface: when a timber is charred it is burned black on the outside and to an uncertain depth. Parch has a possible meaning of burning superficially or roasting, as in parched corn or peanuts, but almost always refers to drying or shriveling.
- To be burned on the surface; become parched or dried up.
- To ride very fast on a bicycle or in a motor-car.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color
- n. a surface burn
- v. destroy completely by or as if by fire
- v. make very hot and dry
- n. a discoloration caused by heat
- v. become scorched or singed under intense heat or dry conditions
- v. become superficially burned
- n. a plant disease that produces a browning or scorched appearance of plant tissues
Middle English scorchen, possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skorpna, to shrink, be shriveled.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps from Old Norse skorpna ("to shrivel up"). (Wiktionary)