- to burn or char the surface of: She seared the steak to seal in the juices.
- to mark with a branding iron.
- to burn or scorch injuriously or painfully: He seared his hand on a hot steam pipe.
- to make callous or unfeeling; harden: The hardship of her youth has seared her emotionally.
- to dry up or wither; parch.
- to become dry or withered, as vegetation.
- a mark or scar made by searing.
Origin of sear1
- a pivoted piece that holds the hammer at full cock or half cock in the firing mechanism of small arms.
Origin of sear2
- dry; withered.
Origin of sere1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sear
Add the chicken to the pan skin side down and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total.Daniel Boulud Reveals His 4 Favorite Recipes From His New Cookbook
October 15, 2013
Sear the pork on both sides and on the fat edge, working in batches if the chops don't all fit in the pan at the same time.Divine Apple Dishes
January 6, 2011
Add the venison to the pot and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 20 minutes.Fresh Picks
November 17, 2010
This is an easy rack of lamb: Marinate, sear, roast, then serve it on a salad with a great anchovy dressing.5 Recipes From Jody Adams
January 12, 2010
Sear quickly on one side, and turn and sear on the other side.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
It was a knowledge that was to sear her presently with self-loathing and self-contempt.The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series
His forearm was bare now; the sear of a burn on it was plain to be seen.
Ay, blush for it; let your cheek glow, and sear your cold heart for the infamy!Roland Cashel
Charles James Lever
But my love must last, to burn and sear since it may not bless me, for it is not a child's love, beloved!Nicanor - Teller of Tales
C. Bryson Taylor
- to scorch or burn the surface of
- to brand with a hot iron
- to cause to wither or dry up
- rare to make callous or unfeeling
- a mark caused by searing
- poetic dried up
- the catch in the lock of a small firearm that holds the hammer or firing pin cocked
- archaic dried up or withered
- a rare spelling of sear 1 (def. 1)
- the series of changes occurring in the ecological succession of a particular community
Word Origin and History for sear
Old English searian (intransitive) "dry up, to wither," from Proto-Germanic *saurajan (cf. Middle Dutch soor "dry," Old High German soren "become dry"), from root of sear "dried up, withered" (see sere). Meaning "cause to wither" is from early 15c. Meaning "to brand, to burn by hot iron" is recorded from c.1400, originally especially of cauterizing wounds; figurative use is from 1580s. Related: Seared; searing.
Old English sear "dried up, withered, barren," from Proto-Germanic *sauzas (cf. Middle Low German sor, Dutch zoor), from PIE root *saus- "dry" (cf. Sanskrit susyati "dries, withers;" Old Persian uška- "dry" (adj.), "land" (n.); Avestan huška- "dry;" Latin sudus "dry"). A good word now relegated to bad poetry. Related to sear. Sere month was an old name for "August."
- The entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax community. See more at succession.