[ skawr-ching ]
/ ˈskɔr tʃɪŋ /


burning; very hot.
caustic or scathing: a scorching denunciation.

Nearby words

  1. scorbutigenic,
  2. scorch,
  3. scorched earth policy,
  4. scorched-earth policy,
  5. scorcher,
  6. scorchingly,
  7. scordatura,
  8. scordinema,
  9. score,
  10. score draw

Origin of scorching

First recorded in 1555–65; scorch + -ing2

Related formsscorch·ing·ly, adverbun·scorch·ing, adjective


[ skawrch ]
/ skɔrtʃ /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

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

1400–50; late Middle English scorchen, perhaps blend of scorcnen (< Scandinavian; compare Old Norse skorpna to shrivel) and torch1

Related formsun·scorched, adjectivewell-scorched, adjective

Synonym study

1. See burn1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scorching

British Dictionary definitions for scorching


/ (skɔːtʃ) /



Derived Formsscorching, adjective

Word Origin for scorch

C15: probably from Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up

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 scorching



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper