Definition of sear in English:


Line breaks: sear
Pronunciation: /sɪə


[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?
    scorch, burn, singe, scald, char; 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; hurt, wound, pain, cut to the quick; 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.
    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.


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  • variant spelling of sere1.
    More 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.


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

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a slit made by cutting with a saw