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.

1400–50; late Middle English scorchen, perhaps blend of scorcnen (< Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skorpna to shrivel) and torch1

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
scorch (skɔːtʃ)
1.  to burn or become burnt, so as to affect the colour, taste, etc, or to cause or feel pain
2.  to wither or parch or cause to wither from exposure to heat
3.  informal (intr) to be very hot: it is scorching outside
4.  informal (tr) to criticize harshly
5.  slang (Brit) (intr) to drive or ride very fast
6.  a slight burn
7.  a mark caused by the application of too great heat
8.  horticulture a mark or series of marks on fruit, vegetables, etc, caused by pests or insecticides
[C15: probably from Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up]

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, perhaps from O.N. skorpna "to be shriveled," cognate with O.E. scrimman "to shrink, dry up." Or perhaps from O.Fr. escorchier "to strip off the skin," from V.L. excorticare "to flay," from ex- + L. cortex (gen. corticis) "cork;" but OED finds this not likely. Scorcher "very hot day" first attested
1874. Scorched earth military strategy is 1937, translation of Chinese jiaotu, used against the Japanese in their advance into China.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


symptom of plant disease in which tissue is "burned" because of unfavourable conditions or infection by bacteria or fungi. Unfavourable conditions include hot, dry wind in full sun, an imbalance of soil nutrients, altered water table or soil grade, deep planting, compacted shallow soil, paved surface over roots, salt drift near the ocean, low temperatures, air pollutants, and girdling roots. Scorch is common as dead areas along or between the veins and margins of leaves. Control involves correcting the causative environmental condition: growing plants in fertile soil in a protected location and maintaining vigour by proper watering, fertilizing, pruning, and mulching. See also sunscald.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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
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