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
  1. verb
    burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color
    “the flames scorched the ceiling”
    synonyms: blacken, char, sear
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    singe, swinge
    burn superficially or lightly
    type of:
    burn with heat, fire, or radiation
  2. verb
    become scorched or singed under intense heat or dry conditions
    “The exposed tree scorched in the hot sun”
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    type of:
    dry, dry out
    become dry or drier
  3. verb
    become superficially burned
    synonyms: sear, singe
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    type of:
    burn, combust
    undergo combustion
  4. verb
    make very hot and dry
    “The heat scorched the countryside”
    synonyms: sear
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    burn or sear with a sizzling sound
    type of:
    heat, heat up
    make hot or hotter
  5. verb
    destroy completely by or as if by fire
    “The wildfire scorched the forest and several homes”
    “the invaders scorched the land”
    synonyms: scathe
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    type of:
    burn, burn down, fire
    destroy by fire
  6. noun
    a surface burn
    synonyms: singe
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    type of:
    an injury caused by exposure to heat or chemicals or radiation
  7. noun
    a discoloration caused by heat
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    type of:
    discoloration, discolouration, stain
    a soiled or discolored appearance
  8. noun
    a plant disease that produces a browning or scorched appearance of plant tissues
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    leaf scorch
    plant disease causing a burned or scorched appearance of the foliage
    type of:
    plant disease
    a disease that affects plants
Word Family