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[pahrch] /pɑrtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to make extremely, excessively, or completely dry, as heat, sun, and wind do.
to make dry, hot, or thirsty:
Walking in the sun parched his throat.
to dry (peas, beans, grain, etc.) by exposure to heat without burning; to toast or roast slightly:
A staple of the Indian diet was parched corn.
to dry or shrivel with cold.
verb (used without object)
to suffer from heat, thirst, or need of water.
to become parched; undergo drying by heat.
to dry (usually followed by up).
Origin of parch
1350-1400; Middle English perchen < ?
Related forms
parchable, adjective
[pahr-chid-lee, pahrcht-] /ˈpɑr tʃɪd li, ˈpɑrtʃt-/ (Show IPA),
parchedness, noun
parchingly, adverb
unparched, adjective
unparching, adjective
1. dry, shrivel, dessicate.
wet, moisten. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for parched
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Summer had come upon Vitry-sur-Marne and parched it to the bone.

  • Rendel's lips felt dry and parched; he spoke with an effort.

    The Arbiter Lady F. E. E. Bell
  • The parched mouth and throat craved no more perpetually for the cooling drinks that had not allayed their misery.

    Bella Donna Robert Hichens
  • Her lips were dry and parched, and she felt a terrible thirst.

  • But the season of berries was not yet, so they wetted their parched lips with their tongues and passed on with a sigh.

    Gold, Gold, in Cariboo! Clive Phillipps-Wolley
  • parched with thirst as we were, it was a hard matter for us to restrain our eagerness.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
  • She made a gesture simply; her lips were too parched to open.

    Cobwebs and Cables Hesba Stretton
  • He said that he was so parched with thirst that he felt obliged to do it.

    A Cousin's Conspiracy Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for parched


to deprive or be deprived of water; dry up: the sun parches the fields
(transitive; usually passive) to make very thirsty: I was parched after the run
(transitive) to roast (corn, etc) lightly
Word Origin
C14: of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for parched



late 14c., "to roast or dry" (peas, beans, corn, etc.), of uncertain origin. Klein and OED reject derivations from Old North French perchier (Old French percer) "to pierce" and Latin persiccare "to dry thoroughly." Barnhart suggests possibly from Middle English perchen, variant of perishen "to perish" (see perish). Klein "tentatively" suggests a back-formation from parchment. Surname Parchecorn is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to dry with excessive heat" is mid-15c. Related: Parched; parching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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