To scorch is to burn something fiercely, to the point where its surface — your face, prairie grass, a steak on the grill — chars or otherwise changes color.

Although scorch usually refers to burning something (whether it's the sun or a blowtorch doing the burning), that's not always the case. An army can scorch an enemy territory — meaning raze everything in sight, without technically setting it on fire. Scorch can also mean to quickly overpower something or somebody, as in: "We're gonna scorch the other team tomorrow."

Definitions of scorch

v burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color

“the flames scorched the ceiling”
blacken, char, sear
singe, swinge
burn superficially or lightly
Type of:
burn with heat, fire, or radiation

v become scorched or singed under intense heat or dry conditions

“The exposed tree scorched in the hot sun”
Type of:
dry, dry out
become dry or drier

v become superficially burned

sear, singe
Type of:
burn, combust
undergo combustion

v make very hot and dry

“The heat scorched the countryside”
burn or sear with a sizzling sound
Type of:
heat, heat up
make hot or hotter

v destroy completely by or as if by fire

“The wildfire scorched the forest and several homes”
“the invaders scorched the land”
Type of:
burn, burn down, fire
destroy by fire

n a surface burn

Type of:
an injury caused by exposure to heat or chemicals or radiation

n a discoloration caused by heat

Type of:
discoloration, discolouration, stain
a soiled or discolored appearance

n a plant disease that produces a browning or scorched appearance of plant tissues

leaf scorch
plant disease causing a burned or scorched appearance of the foliage
Type of:
plant disease
a disease that affects plants

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