Sear Sear, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Seared}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Searing}.] [OE. seeren, AS. se['a]rian. See {Sear}, a.] 1. To wither; to dry up. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. To burn (the surface of) to dryness and hardness; to cauterize; to expose to a degree of heat such as changes the color or the hardness and texture of the surface; to scorch; to make callous; as, to sear the skin or flesh. Also used figuratively. [1913 Webster]

I'm seared with burning steel. --Rowe. [1913 Webster]

It was in vain that the amiable divine tried to give salutary pain to that seared conscience. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

The discipline of war, being a discipline in destruction of life, is a discipline in callousness. Whatever sympathies exist are seared. --H. Spencer. [1913 Webster]

Note: Sear is allied to scorch in signification; but it is applied primarily to animal flesh, and has special reference to the effect of heat in marking the surface hard. Scorch is applied to flesh, cloth, or any other substance, and has no reference to the effect of hardness. [1913 Webster]

{To sear up}, to close by searing. ``Cherish veins of good humor, and sear up those of ill.'' --Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • searing — sear|ing [ˈsıərıŋ US ˈsır ] adj 1.) extremely hot ▪ the searing heat of the desert 2.) searing pain is severe and feels like a burn 3.) searing words or attitudes criticize someone or something very strongly ▪ Adorno s searing analysis of mass… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • searing — [[t]sɪ͟ərɪŋ[/t]] 1) ADJ: ADJ n Searing is used to indicate that something such as pain or heat is very intense. She woke to feel a searing pain in her feet. ...the searing heat of the Saudi Arabian desert. 2) ADJ GRADED: ADJ n A searing speech or …   English dictionary

  • searing — adjective 1 searing heat is extremely hot 2 searing pain is severe and feels like a burn: a searing pain behind the eyes 3 searing words or attitudes are very severe and critical: an expression of deep, searing contempt …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • searing — adjective Date: 1678 1. very hot 2. marked by extreme intensity, harshness, or emotional power < searing pain > < a searing review > < a searing portrayal > • searingly adverb …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • searing — sear|ing [ sırıŋ ] adjective 1. ) extreme in degree or strength: searing pain/passion/poignancy searing heat 2. ) severe in your judgment of someone or something: searing criticism/comments/complaints ╾ sear|ing|ly adverb …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • searing — UK [ˈsɪərɪŋ] / US [ˈsɪrɪŋ] adjective 1) extreme in degree or strength searing pain/passion/poignancy searing heat 2) severe in your judgment of someone or something searing criticism/comments/complaints Derived word: searingly adverb …   English dictionary

  • searing — /ˈsɪərɪŋ/ (say searring) adjective 1. of or relating to that which tends to burn; excessively hot: the searing heat of summer. 2. with an emotional force which impacts so strongly that it is felt to be analogous to a flame: she gave a searing… …  

  • searing — adj. Searing is used with these nouns: ↑heat, ↑indictment, ↑pain …   Collocations dictionary

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