• synonyms


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

Synonyms for parch

1. dry, shrivel, dessicate.

Antonyms for parch

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

Related Words for parching

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

Examples from the Web for parching

Historical Examples of parching

  • The wagon was a bake-oven, but there was no sweat in him to cool his parching skin.

    The Flockmaster of Poison Creek

    George W. Ogden

  • At least she could breathe freely now and moisten her parching lips.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • The rates for parching are a pice a seer or an eighth part of the grain.

  • Her fire was a few chips, and she was parching a little corn for supper.

  • This does away with the dust and noxious gas, and modifies the parching heat.

British Dictionary definitions for parching


  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 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 parching



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