1. To burn slightly or superficially; to burn the surface of; to burn the ends or outside of; as, to singe the hair or the skin. You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, . . . Singe my white head! (Shak) I singed the toes of an ape through a burning glass. (L’Estrange)
2. To remove the nap of (cloth), by passing it rapidly over a red–hot bar, or over a flame, preliminary to dyeing it. To remove the hair or down from (a plucked chicken or the like) by passing it over a flame.
Origin: OE. Sengen, AS. Sengan in besengan (akin to D. Zengen, G. Sengen), originally, to cause to sing, fr. AS. Singan to sing, in allusion to the singing or hissing sound often produced when a substance is singed, or slightly burned. See Sing.