sear

To sear something is to quickly cook or burn its surface by applying intense heat. When making beef stew, the color and flavor are usually better if you sear the meat first.

Sear comes from the Old English word searian which meant “dry up” or “wither.” Typically, the verb sear now refers to burning or scorching something with heat, but if you see the phrase “wind-seared,” it means that a place — or something left in that place — has been withered by exposure to the elements. An unpleasant image can be seared into your memory, meaning you can't forget it.

Definitions of sear
1

v become superficially burned

Synonyms:
scorch, singe
Type of:
burn, combust
undergo combustion

v burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color

Synonyms:
blacken, char, scorch
Types:
singe, swinge
burn superficially or lightly
Type of:
burn
burn with heat, fire, or radiation

v cause to wither or parch from exposure to heat

Synonyms:
parch
Type of:
dry, dry out
remove the moisture from and make dry

v make very hot and dry

Synonyms:
scorch
Types:
sizzle
burn or sear with a sizzling sound
Type of:
heat, heat up
make hot or hotter

adj (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture

Synonyms:
dried-up, sere, shriveled, shrivelled, withered
dry
free from liquid or moisture; lacking natural or normal moisture or depleted of water; or no longer wet

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