Main definitions of scald in English

: scald1scald2



[with object]
  • 1Injure with very hot liquid or steam.

    ‘the tea scalded his tongue’
    • ‘I was meaning to get an ice cold one to wake me up, but I twisted the wrong faucet because I scalded myself getting in.’
    • ‘Hence, those who venture on the rock do it either in the morning or in the evening, to prevent their foot from getting scalded.’
    • ‘Thirty minutes after taking the child from the bath, he realised she had been scalded, but he did not seek emergency help.’
    • ‘The baby pulled the jug over, and in doing so scalded her lower face, neck, shoulder, and back so that 16% of her body surface area was affected (figure).’
    • ‘It is further required that the relief valve be connected to an overflow pipe, to direct escaping steam and hot water to a safe location where bystanders are not likely to be scalded.’
    • ‘‘It will scald you if you put your hand nearby,’ McIntosh says.’
    • ‘If you turn on the hot-water faucet too far in the shower, you may be scalded.’
    • ‘It may as well have been written: scald yourself twice on the same burning log.’
    • ‘C.C. testified that she was also deliberately scalded by her mother on numerous occasions when she was in the bathtub, leaving permanent scars.’
    • ‘For those of you with small children, it will be an added comfort to know a mischievous child will not be scalded by this lower temperature.’
    • ‘I pulled the doors open and stepped into my shower, adjusting the heat so that it wasn't scalding me anymore.’
    • ‘‘As soon as he showed me his back I was horrified, it looked as if he had been scalded,’ said Mrs Gillvray, of Stonehill Rise, Scawthorpe.’
    • ‘A child's fingers cannot be scalded by a piece of hot yam which its mother puts into its palm.’
    • ‘Allow the cup to cool for a minute before moving it so you don't scald yourself.’
    • ‘His trouble with women continued when he was nearly scalded to death by a seething pot of grits that had been thrown at him by another lover.’
    • ‘You can also inhale steam from a kettle or pot of boiling water, taking care not to get so close that you scald yourself.’
    • ‘Gregor, the New Jersey Supreme Court allowed the fiancé of a man who was scalded to death to sue for NIED even though she was not married to the victim whose death she observed.’
    • ‘It didn't scald her, just threw her across the room.’
    • ‘The survey found evidence of workers being punched, kicked, scalded, sexually harassed and attacked with bricks, walking frames and even airguns.’
    • ‘Don't inhale steam from a kettle, you may get scalded.’
    • ‘People drown in it, and are scalded and burnt by it.’
    • ‘Surprise, surprise, the first time she braked, the hot liquid went sloshing over her knees and scalded her.’
    • ‘A single pair of arms lifted me, and before I knew I was being scalded by flames.’
    • ‘Slowly, inexorably, the ‘man’ sank into the stonework, and some of the molten lava rolled towards him, stinging him, scalding him.’
    burn, scorch, sear
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Heat (milk or other liquid) to near boiling point.
      ‘scald the milk with the citrus zest’
      • ‘Pour in tea on top of milk to prevent scalding the milk.’
      • ‘Still, it is a good practice to scald the milk or cream as this precaution will kill bacteria and also dissolve the sugar and help infuse any flavors.’
      • ‘For the white chocolate mousse: In saucepan, scald milk over medium heat.’
      • ‘For the caramel dumplings: In a saucepan, scald the cream with the vanilla bean.’
      • ‘Some folks say that you need to scald the milk beforehand, but I had no problem reaching the desired consistency with cold milk.’
      • ‘On low heat, scald the milk with the vanilla bean.’
      • ‘For the chocolate soup: In a saucepan, scald the cream.’
    2. 1.2 Immerse (something) briefly in boiling water for various purposes, such as to facilitate the removal of skin from fruit or to preserve meat.
      ‘a medium sliced tomato, scalded in water to remove its skin’
      • ‘Cut the mutton and radish into cubes and scald the mutton.’
      • ‘One by one, live birds are hung by the feet on a moving line of hooks called shackles and mechanically stunned, decapitated, and scalded to remove the feathers.’
      • ‘The birds are scalded, de-feathered by machine and transferred to the eviscerating line.’
      • ‘Take seven red ripe tomatoes, blanch/scald them in boiling water, peel them, remove the seeds and slice into small pieces and put them in a dish.’
    3. 1.3 Cause to feel a searing sensation like that of boiling water on skin.
      ‘she fought to stave off the hot tears scalding her eyes’
      • ‘The talking ceased and a new batch of hot, bitter tears scalded down my face.’
      • ‘Tears scalded down his cheeks as they fell silently.’
      • ‘Real tears sting and burn and scald you, vodka tears are mellow, sweetly sad and not tears at all.’
    4. 1.4archaic Rinse (a container) with boiling water.
      ‘there's bowls to scald and bairns to fetch!’


  • 1A burn or other injury caused by hot liquid or steam.

    ‘50,000 children a year are taken to hospital with burns and scalds’
    • ‘Avoid hot-water or steam vaporizers that can cause accidental burns and scalds in children.’
    • ‘You can put it neat on the skin for things like cuts, grazes, burns and scalds.’
    • ‘Lower the temperature of the hot water in your home to 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) to prevent scalds.’
    • ‘Traumatic injuries include incisions, gunshot and sword wounds, scalds and burns, contusions, sprains or animal stings and bites.’
    • ‘Are we afraid of becoming like America, where you hear of people claiming for scalds received from drinking hot coffee?’
    • ‘The presence of excessive splash burns or of scalds on areas of the body not likely to get wet when a child spills a container of hot liquid suggests an inflicted injury.’
    • ‘The same mixture will take the heat out of sunburn and scalds and soothe insect bites.’
    • ‘These children represented 9% of all children admitted with burns or scalds during the six months and accounted for 78 inpatient days.’
    • ‘Between February 1995 and April 1998, 23 young children were admitted to our burns unit because of scalds sustained after knocking or pulling over jugs or bowls of hot water which were being used to heat bottles of milk.’
    • ‘He suffered serious scalds which needed surgery.’
    • ‘The villagers cook on open fires with precariously balanced pots, which result in many scalds and burns.’
    • ‘The socioeconomic gradient for injury mechanisms is steepest for pedestrian injuries, burns and scalds, and poisoning, which has implications for targeting injury prevention strategies’
    • ‘Aloe vera is an excellent first aid remedy to keep in the house for minor burns, cuts, scalds and sunburns.’
    • ‘According to another survey conducted in the US, many parents still fail to recognize their child's potential risk of burns and scalds.’
    • ‘Immersion scalds are classic burn injuries in child abuse, but abuse should be suspected with any scald injury, especially if there is sharp demarcation between burned and normal skin or splash marks are absent.’
    • ‘This feature prevents scalds - a benefit especially important for small children and elderly people.’
    • ‘Lavender oil is a natural disinfectant, antiseptic, and antibiotic which promotes healing and prevents scarring, and is especially effective for the treatment of burns and scalds.’
    • ‘Children are more likely than adults to suffer from severe scalds.’
    • ‘Its triple action of pain relief and antiseptic and healing qualities makes this remedy suitable for even serious burns and scalds.’
    • ‘Burns and scalds are possible if your baby is near hot objects.’
  • 2mass noun Any of a number of plant diseases which produce an effect similar to that of scalding, especially a disease of fruit marked by browning and caused by excessive sunlight, bad storage conditions, or atmospheric pollution.

    • ‘This unique cross is tolerant of major plum diseases - like bacterial spot, bacterial canker, and plum leaf scald - that limit an orchard's life-span in the Southeast.’
    • ‘In too much sun they may suffer scald on the leaves, or the leaves may appear yellow rather than deep green.’
    • ‘And again, as soon as the rain stops we plan to start treating the worst acid sulphate scald in northern NSW and we believe we will have green grass growing on it within six weeks where grass hasn't grown for many, many years.’


  • like a scalded cat

    • Very quickly.

      ‘he took off like a scalded cat’
      • ‘When we first turned up for service of the documents in Perth, he ran away like a scalded cat.’
      • ‘If something creepy appeared on the television he would get to his feet and politely leave, taking to his heels like a scalded cat.’
      • ‘If he Kashim was getting that kind of a look from those eyes, he'd be so frightened that he'd scream like a little girl and take off like a scalded cat.’
      • ‘He walked stiffly towards it with his head thrust forward and the cat scarpered like a - well, like a scalded cat.’
      • ‘Able to trickle in perfect silence though the streets on electric power alone, it can scoot away from traffic lights like a scalded cat if you so desire, leaving other drivers scratching their heads.’
      • ‘He took one look at me - half naked, 20 stone, 6ft 5ins inches tall and mad as hell - and took off down the road like a scalded cat, yelling abuse.’


Middle English (as a verb): from Anglo-Norman French escalder, from late Latin excaldare, from Latin ex- ‘thoroughly’ + calidus ‘hot’. The noun dates from the early 17th century.




Main definitions of scald in English

: scald1scald2



  • variant spelling of skald