verb (used with object)

to make extremely, excessively, or completely dry, as heat, sun, and wind do.
to make dry, hot, or thirsty: Walking in the sun parched his throat.
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.
to dry or shrivel with cold.

verb (used without object)

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

Synonyms for parch

1. dry, shrivel, dessicate.

Antonyms for parch Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for parched

thirsty, arid, burned, shriveled, waterless

Examples from the Web for parched

Contemporary Examples of parched

Historical Examples of parched

  • With parched throats, gasping for breath, they lay back in agony.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The canteens were soon emptied, and still their lips and throats were parched.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Dick's throat and mouth were parched, and he felt as if he were breathing fire.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • "I can tell you nothing," he said, moistening his parched lips.

  • It was like a brook overflowing after a rainstorm when the soil is parched.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for parched



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

Word Origin for parch

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 parched



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper