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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.

  • It was like a brook overflowing after a rainstorm when the soil is parched.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • The parched mouth and throat craved no more perpetually for the cooling drinks that had not allayed their misery.

    Bella Donna Robert Hichens
  • That night sleep forsook his eyelids, and his mouth was parched and his spirit bitter.

    The Scapegoat Hall Caine
  • 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
  • Her brow was hot and throbbing, and her lips were parched and feverish.

  • She made a gesture simply; her lips were too parched to open.

    Cobwebs and Cables Hesba Stretton
  • Without that, Monsieur, all is dry as a parched skin of orange.

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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