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[skawr-ching] /ˈskɔr tʃɪŋ/
burning; very hot.
caustic or scathing:
a scorching denunciation.
1555-65; scorch + -ing2
Related forms
scorchingly, adverb
unscorching, adjective


[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.
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 scorching
  • Immediately, a scorching pain shot up his right arm as if something had shattered.
  • Pour milk into a large heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching.
  • On really scorching days, she might also bring out shade umbrellas in the afternoon.
  • It left the tongue vibrating between hot and cool, scorching and tingling.
  • From the landing, she told him in scorching terms to leave her alone.
  • After two decades of scorching growth, many bosses are also superstars.
  • One side of this planet would burn under a scorching sun while the other would freeze.
  • The prototype should also work year-round, in freezing or scorching temps.
  • The surface of a planet that close to our sun would be scorching hot.
  • Baste now and then with a mixture of additional meat stock and the wine in the pan to prevent the paper's scorching.
British Dictionary definitions for scorching


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 scorching



"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 scorching


  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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Encyclopedia Article for scorching


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.

Learn more about scorch with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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