sear 1 (sîr)
v. seared, sear·ing, sears
1. To char, scorch, or burn the surface of.
2. To brown (meat) quickly using very high heat. See Synonyms at burn1.
3. To cause to dry up and wither.
a. To cause emotional pain or trauma to: "The image of the burdened, solitary president ... seared the American mind as never before" (James Carroll).
b. To cause to be felt or remembered because of emotional intensity: "Such increases in value have seared into people's minds the idea that investments will almost always pay off" (David Leonhardt).
1. To become dried up or withered.
2. To be felt or remembered because of emotional intensity: The incident seared into the nation's memory.
A condition, such as a scar, produced by searing.
[Middle English seren, from Old English sēarian, to wither, from sēar, withered.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.