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 formsun·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

Word Origin and History for sear

sear


v.

Old English searian (intransitive) "dry up, to wither," from Proto-Germanic *saurajan (cf. Middle Dutch soor "dry," Old High German soren "become dry"), from root of sear "dried up, withered" (see sere). Meaning "cause to wither" is from early 15c. Meaning "to brand, to burn by hot iron" is recorded from c.1400, originally especially of cauterizing wounds; figurative use is from 1580s. Related: Seared; searing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.