Share this entry

Share this page

sear

Line breaks: sear
Pronunciation: /sɪə
 
/

Definition of sear in English:

verb

[with object]
1Burn or scorch the surface of (something) with a sudden, intense heat: the water got so hot that it seared our lips figurative a sharp pang of disappointment seared her
More example sentences
  • Even though the sun was near the horizon, it still sent out waves of intense heat that seared the ground until it was bone dry.
  • But the effect of her forgetfulness was that her successor, Stephen Lander, took the heat of some searing criticism for decisions for which he had no responsibility.
  • How will those hardy minions survive the summer blasts of arctic air conditioning in between the bouts of broiling street heat beneath searing serge?
Synonyms
dry up/out, parch, desiccate, dehydrate, wither, shrivel;
discolour, brown, blacken, carbonize;
Medicine cauterize
rare exsiccate
distress, grieve, sadden, make miserable/wretched, upset, trouble, harrow, cause anguish to, afflict, perturb, disturb;
affect, move, sting, mortify, torment, torture, gnaw at, vex, gall
1.1Fix (an image or memory) permanently in someone’s mind or memory: the unfortunate childhood encounter is seared on his memory
More example sentences
  • To talking to Judith for four hours, a conversation fashioned into the searing performance text, voiced by Lata.
  • No lip sync for her, only vocals thatsearedstraight into the heart.
  • But the full story of Partition and its searing human impact had to wait for Sahni's celebrated novel Tamas.
1.2Fry (food) quickly at a high temperature so that it will retain its juices in subsequent cooking: (as adjective seared) seared chicken livers
More example sentences
  • This cooking method allows small pieces of food to be seared and cooked very superficially, thus retaining their texture and flavour.
  • He offers this simple tenderloin - quickly sautéed to sear the outside but not melt the marbling inside - for a special holiday meal.
  • The unique characteristic of this charcoal is that it can heat up to a very high temperature, which helps sear the meat and lock in its juice.
Synonyms
flash-fry, seal, brown, fry/grill quickly, toast
2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of pain) be experienced as a sudden, burning sensation: a crushing pain seared through his chest
More example sentences
  • I nodded slightly, starting to sit up, ignoring the twinges of pain searing across my whole upper body.
  • Suddenly a burning pain seared through the centre of her forehead, just above her dark eyebrows.
  • A sharp pain seared through my chest that might or might not have been related to being fresh out of a fight.
3 archaic Cause to wither: when summer sears the plains
More example sentences
  • Scattered along fertile valleys, between sands and snows, most Afghan people farm land which is seared by 40 Centigrade summers, and is snowbound by the long, cold winters.
3.1Make (someone’s conscience or feelings) insensitive: a long career of ambition, craft, and despotic rule never utterly seared his conscience
More example sentences
  • Have we as a people had our conscience so seared that atrocities such as this cause not an eyebrow to even raise?
  • A person with a seared conscience no longer has feelings toward God or His eternal laws.

adjective

Back to top  
variant spelling of sere1.
Example sentences
  • But a certain bitter aura also hung about the flower; the last in bloom among sere grasses, fallen leaves, and rimy dawns.
  • Approaching the small township of Pripyat, downwind from the disaster, we passed through a belt of pinewoods, sere and withered, the needles distorted as if scorched by unseen flame.
  • The flowers will die, sere stalks suggesting bones or ashes.

Origin

Old English sēar (adjective), sēarian (verb), of Germanic origin.

Definition of sear in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…