Origin of sear

1
before 900; (adj.) Middle English sere, Old English sēar; cognate with Dutch zoor; (v.) Middle English seren, Old English sēarian, derivative of sēar

Related forms

un·seared, adjective

Synonym study

1. See burn1.

Definition for sear (2 of 3)

sear

2
[ seer ]
/ sɪər /

noun

a pivoted piece that holds the hammer at full cock or half cock in the firing mechanism of small arms.

Origin of sear

2
1550–60; < Middle French serre a grip, derivative of serrer to lock up, close < Vulgar Latin *serrāre, for Late Latin serāre to bar (a door), derivative of Latin sera door-bar; Vulgar Latin -rr- unexplained

Definition for sear (3 of 3)

sere

1

or sear

[ seer ]
/ sɪər /

adjective

dry; withered.

Origin of sere

1
before 900; Middle English seer(e), Old English sēar; see sear1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sear

British Dictionary definitions for sear (1 of 4)

sear

1
/ (sɪə) /

verb (tr)

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

noun

a mark caused by searing

adjective

poetic dried up

Word Origin for sear

Old English sēarian to become withered, from sēar withered; related to Old High German sōrēn, Greek hauos dry, Sanskrit sōsa drought

British Dictionary definitions for sear (2 of 4)

sear

2
/ (sɪə) /

noun

the catch in the lock of a small firearm that holds the hammer or firing pin cocked

Word Origin for sear

C16: probably from Old French serre a clasp, from serrer to hold firmly, from Late Latin sērāre to bolt, from Latin sera a bar

British Dictionary definitions for sear (3 of 4)

sere

1

sear

/ (sɪə) /

adjective

archaic dried up or withered

verb, noun

a rare spelling of sear 1 (def. 1)

Word Origin for sere

Old English sēar; see sear 1

British Dictionary definitions for sear (4 of 4)

sere

2
/ (sɪə) /

noun

the series of changes occurring in the ecological succession of a particular community

Word Origin for sere

C20: from series
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

Science definitions for sear

sere

[ sîr ]

The entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax community. See more at succession.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.