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verb (used with object)
  1. to make extremely, excessively, or completely dry, as heat, sun, and wind do.
  2. to make dry, hot, or thirsty: Walking in the sun parched his throat.
  3. to dry (peas, beans, grain, etc.) by exposure to heat without burning; to toast or roast slightly: A staple of the Indian diet was parched corn.
  4. to dry or shrivel with cold.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to suffer from heat, thirst, or need of water.
  2. to become parched; undergo drying by heat.
  3. to dry (usually followed by up).
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Origin of parch

1350–1400; Middle English perchen < ?
Related formsparch·a·ble, adjectiveparch·ed·ly [pahr-chid-lee, pahrcht-] /ˈpɑr tʃɪd li, ˈpɑrtʃt-/, adverbparch·ed·ness, nounparch·ing·ly, adverbun·parched, adjectiveun·parch·ing, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. dry, shrivel, dessicate.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sear, evaporate, scorch, blister, brown, dehydrate, wither, exsiccate, desiccate, stale, shrivel

Examples from the Web for parch

Historical Examples

  • May it parch their throats, as if they had been breathing the simoon!

    Life of Wm. Tecumseh Sherman.

    W. Fletcher Johnson

  • Then, too, I will give you and Benny some corn to parch this evening, and you can have a nice time.

  • When this is done, care must be observed not to burn or parch the cuticle.

  • To Miss Parnell, Mr. Parch related the contents of his late client's will.

    Old Kensington

    Miss Thackeray

  • The fire that is but just sufficient to receive the noble sirloin (No. 19), will parch up a lighter joint.

British Dictionary definitions for parch


  1. to deprive or be deprived of water; dry upthe sun parches the fields
  2. (tr; usually passive) to make very thirstyI was parched after the run
  3. (tr) to roast (corn, etc) lightly
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Word Origin

C14: of obscure origin
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

Word Origin and History for parch


late 14c., "to roast or dry" (peas, beans, corn, etc.), of uncertain origin. Klein and OED reject derivations from Old North French perchier (Old French percer) "to pierce" and Latin persiccare "to dry thoroughly." Barnhart suggests possibly from Middle English perchen, variant of perishen "to perish" (see perish). Klein "tentatively" suggests a back-formation from parchment. Surname Parchecorn is attested from mid-14c. Meaning "to dry with excessive heat" is mid-15c. Related: Parched; parching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper