Dictionary > Scorch


1. To be burnt on the surface; to be parched; to be dried up. Scatter a little mungy straw or fern amongst your seedlings, to prevent the roots from scorching. (Mortimer)
2. To burn or be burnt. he laid his long forefinger on the scarlet letter, which forthwith seemed to scoch into Hester’s breast, as if it had been red hot. (Hawthorne)
1. To burn superficially; to parch, or shrivel, the surface of, by heat; to subject to so much heat as changes colour and texture without consuming; as, to scorch linen. Summer drouth or singed air never scorch thy tresses fair. (milton)
2. To affect painfully with heat, or as with heat; to dry up with heat; to affect as by heat. Lashed by mad rage, and scorched by brutal fires. (prior)
3. To burn; to destroy by, or as by, fire. Power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. (rev. Xvi. 8) The fire that scorches me to death. (Dryden)
Origin: OE. Scorchen, probably akin to scorcnen; cf. Norw. Skrokken shrunk up, skrekka, skrokka, to shrink, to become wrinkled up, dial. Sw. Skrakkla to wrinkle (see Shrug); but perhaps influenced by OF. Escorchier to strip the bark from, to flay, to skin, F. Ecorcher, LL. Excorticare; L. Ex from – cortex, -icis, bark (cf. Cork); because the skin falls off when scorched.

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