- 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.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scorch
One of the reasons I did that Twitter feed is that I want the truth to come out, all the truth, so I can scorch the earth.Porn Professor Hugo Schwyzer Comes Clean About His Twitter Meltdown and Life as a Fraud
August 12, 2013
And with too little bacon in the pan, not enough fat renders quickly enough and the bacon will scorch.America's Bacon Addiction
June 30, 2009
Speculation: The scorch might have been made by radioactivity attendant upon the resurrection.
If the scorch on the Shroud is the result of radiation, it could have been radiation that reconstituted the dead body.
My stars alive, I do b'lieve my bread's beginnin' t' scorch!Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
After a moment he removed it, and gasped with the scorch of the powerful liquor.The Law-Breakers
May the Devil scorch that vagabond, if he doesn't do better than the last time!Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home
The fiery flame of her wild life seemed to scorch and preserve her.Fruitfulness
If I had I would use it all to scorch and wither this talking of surrender.Strife (First Series Plays)
- 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
- (intr) informal to be very hotit is scorching outside
- (tr) informal to criticize harshly
- (intr) British 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
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.