bitterly severe, as a remark: a scathing review of the play.
harmful, injurious, or searing.

1785–95; scathe + -ing2

scathingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scathing (ˈskeɪðɪŋ)
1.  harshly critical; scornful: a scathing remark
2.  damaging; painful

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, from O.N. skaða "to hurt, injure," from P.Gmc. *skath- (cf. O.E. sceaþian "to hurt, injure," O.Fris. skethia, M.Du. scaden, Du. schaden, O.H.G. scadon, Ger. schaden, Goth. scaþjan "to injure, damage"), from PIE base *sket- "to injure." Only cognate outside Gmc. seems to be in
Gk. a-skethes "unharmed, unscathed." Survives mostly in its negative form, unscathed, and in figurative meaning "sear with invective or satire" (1852, usually as scathing) which developed from the sense of "scar, scorch" used by Milton in "Paradise Lost" i.613 (1667).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Even scathingly negative remarks can be fodder for making a program more effective.
It is solemnly attested that on this occasion he cursed so scathingly that the bark peeled off the big oak tree.
His report was dramatically written and scathingly critical of the decisions made by officers in frontline command positions.
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