"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[skawrch] /skɔrtʃ/
verb (used with object)
to affect the color, taste, etc., of by burning slightly:
The collar of the shirt was yellow where the iron had scorched it.
to parch or shrivel with heat:
The sun scorched the grass.
to criticize severely.
Machinery, burn1 (def 31).
to destroy (crops, towns, etc.) by or as if by fire in the path of an invading army's advance.
verb (used without object)
to become scorched:
Milk scorches easily.
Informal. to travel or drive at high speed:
The car scorched along the highway.
a superficial burn.
Origin of scorch
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English scorchen, perhaps blend of scorcnen (< Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skorpna to shrivel) and torch1
Related forms
unscorched, adjective
well-scorched, adjective
1. char, blister. See burn1 . 3. excoriate, condemn.
3. laud. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scorch
  • Do not burn, scorch or ignite the adjoining pavement when using a hot air lance.
  • When using a hot air lance, care shall be taken so as not to burn, scorch or ignite the adjoining pavement.
  • Simmering water, broth or even oil is always the same temperature, and will never scorch.
  • The fans spin slower and juice in the battery isn't used to scorch your lap.
  • There must not be any flame or red glow remaining in the pit when you start to cook or your meat will scorch on the outside.
  • scorch the ginger by holding it with tongs above a gas flame or in a dry frying pan if using an electric stove.
  • Keep the dough moving in the pan so it doesn't scorch.
  • The sugars in the tomato paste can easily scorch, so it is important to stir often.
  • Add the meat in batches and brown on all sides, being careful not to crowd the pan or scorch the meat.
  • Crown scorch appears to be a better predictor of mortality than height of bark charring.
British Dictionary definitions for scorch


to burn or become burnt, so as to affect the colour, taste, etc, or to cause or feel pain
to wither or parch or cause to wither from exposure to heat
(intransitive) (informal) to be very hot: it is scorching outside
(transitive) (informal) to criticize harshly
(intransitive) (Brit, slang) to drive or ride very fast
a slight burn
a mark caused by the application of too great heat
(horticulture) a mark or series of marks on fruit, vegetables, etc, caused by pests or insecticides
Derived Forms
scorching, adjective
Word Origin
C15: probably from Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up
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 scorch

"to burn superficially or slightly, but so as to change the color or injure the texture," early 14c., perhaps an alteration of scorrcnenn "make dry, parch" (c.1200), of obscure origin, perhaps from Old Norse skorpna "to be shriveled," cognate with Old English scrimman "to shrink, dry up." Or perhaps from Old French escorchier "to strip off the skin," from Vulgar Latin excorticare "to flay," from ex- (see ex-) + Latin cortex (genitive corticis) "cork;" but OED finds this not likely. Scorched earth military strategy is 1937, translation of Chinese jiaotu, used against the Japanese in a bid to stem their advance into China.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scorch


  1. To travel very fast; barrel: I proceed to scorch to make up for lost time (1891+)
  2. To throw the ball very fast and hard; burn: You had to love how he scorched Buddy Ryan (1940s+ Baseball)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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