Definition of sear in English:

sear

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Burn or scorch the surface of (something) with a sudden, intense heat.

    ‘the water got so hot that it seared our lips’
    figurative ‘a sharp pang of disappointment seared her’
    • ‘Even though the sun was near the horizon, it still sent out waves of intense heat that seared the ground until it was bone dry.’
    • ‘As we spray and sprinkle, acrid smoke fills our eyes and heat sears our lungs.’
    • ‘Three years ago, Laurence Docherty's disappointment at being left out of the Sydney squad seared his mind.’
    • ‘How will those hardy minions survive the summer blasts of arctic air conditioning in between the bouts of broiling street heat beneath searing serge?’
    • ‘Heat from the engine seared my side and my back, and I squirmed, trying to avoid the burning.’
    • ‘But the effect of her forgetfulness was that her successor, Stephen Lander, took the heat of some searing criticism for decisions for which he had no responsibility.’
    • ‘Worse, the horns radiated heat, searing his hands.’
    • ‘He bent his head and seared her lips with a kiss that burned to her core.’
    • ‘As the heat of the coals seared Ian's shoulder, Nick's hands tightened around Ian's throat and he couldn't breathe.’
    • ‘All I could do was watch my hand as it was seared by the heat.’
    • ‘Flames climbed one wall of the room and I choked and hacked as heat and smoke seared my lungs; blistering my skin.’
    • ‘The ball was white-hot, it seared her flesh, burned all it touched.’
    • ‘The metal where Cath's hands grabbed suddenly flashed hot, searing her skin.’
    • ‘He could see the furnaces where he had worked, the heat from the bright, white hot metal searing the faces of the workmen as they poured and ladled it into the casting moulds.’
    • ‘Data has come from flight recorders submerged in saltwater and seared by 1,000-degree temperatures.’
    • ‘Rodgers lay on his back, the hot concrete searing his sores but easing his muscles.’
    • ‘I never once believed I was in the presence of real grief (the kind that sears the soul and burns the heart), just a Hollywood-generated masquerade.’
    • ‘I grabbed a hold of it and started to slide but quickly felt the heat of the metal searing my hands from friction.’
    • ‘The other kind of trailer is the one that knocks your socks off, stands your hair on end, sears the retina and leaves you gasping.’
    • ‘His right leg was seared raw and burned almost to the bone in places.’
    scorch, burn, singe, scald, char
    distress, grieve, sadden, make miserable, make wretched, upset, trouble, harrow, cause anguish to, afflict, perturb, disturb
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fix (an image or memory) permanently in someone's mind or memory.
      ‘the unfortunate childhood encounter is seared on his memory’
      • ‘For better or worse, Vietnam remains seared in our national consciousness.’
      • ‘Every word of both letters was seared into his memory.’
      • ‘This march to the south seared his soul.’
      • ‘Instead, it was seared into the minds of voters that the GOP was the Party of Sore Losers.’
      • ‘The Net doesn't affect us like a searing image on the television, galvanizing a nation.’
      • ‘My mind is seared by the memory of our arrival at the orphanage, a group of girls aged 7 to 10, smiling, laughing, waving to us from a balcony.’
      • ‘To talking to Judith for four hours, a conversation fashioned into the searing performance text, voiced by Lata.’
      • ‘The event was "seared" into his memory.’
      • ‘Images, of course, seared into our memory.’
      • ‘But the full story of Partition and its searing human impact had to wait for Sahni's celebrated novel Tamas.’
      • ‘The graphic details of it I just don't think are good for people to sear into their minds.’
      • ‘This war has already given us searing television images.’
      • ‘It's most searing experience remains the Vietnam War.’
      • ‘It is a searing look at what an immensely complicated task it is to forgive the unforgiveable.’
      • ‘One searing lesson we Jews in Israel have learned from this war of terror is the fragility of life.’
      • ‘But underneath the searing humour runs a strain of deep discontent at the lives of the dispossessed in society.’
      • ‘The following morning, a searing migraine slices through my brain vacated by opiates.’
      • ‘There was no hope for Mr. Bingley to be hers, and that knowledge seared her heart.’
      • ‘No lip sync for her, only vocals thatsearedstraight into the heart.’
      • ‘These are horrifying times for immigrants, with photographic images seared in their minds of foreigners being burned alive by elated crowds.’
    2. 1.2 Fry (food) quickly at a high temperature so that it will retain its juices in subsequent cooking.
      ‘seared chicken livers’
      • ‘Her main course of fresh striped bass had been seared so that the skin was slightly crispy, enclosing a melt-in-your-mouth fillet.’
      • ‘This allows food to sear and cook quickly, which augments flavors.’
      • ‘Season the frogs' legs, dip in the eggs, coat with the bread crumbs, and sear on both sides until golden brown about three minutes.’
      • ‘This cooking method allows small pieces of food to be seared and cooked very superficially, thus retaining their texture and flavour.’
      • ‘Season chickens and sear until brown on all sides, remove from pot and set aside.’
      • ‘Lightly press both sides of the tuna into the sea salt and coarsely cracked black pepper, and sear the tuna on one side until browned.’
      • ‘Lightly coat sweetbreads in flour and sear until golden brown and crisp.’
      • ‘They pluck out thick slices of tandoori chicken seared over flaming coals, dip them in mint chutney and stuff them into the mouth with passion.’
      • ‘Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and sear scallops lightly on each side.’
      • ‘He offers this simple tenderloin - quickly sautéed to sear the outside but not melt the marbling inside - for a special holiday meal.’
      • ‘In a heavy frying pan, briskly sear the steaks on one side until well browned, turn once and cook briefly for a medium-rare result.’
      • ‘The meat was seared crisp around the edges, with just a hint of rosiness at its center.’
      • ‘It is sensationally simple: ripe grapes are simply tossed into a pan into which you have seared Italian-style pork sausages.’
      • ‘To ensure its tenderness, the loin was first seared then cooked at a very low temperature for a couple of hours.’
      • ‘The unique characteristic of this charcoal is that it can heat up to a very high temperature, which helps sear the meat and lock in its juice.’
      • ‘Dave had dished-up seared sirloin steak, topped with a sauce of sautéed onion, mushrooms and red wine, as an accompaniment to the Merlot.’
      • ‘I had seared tuna steak which was absolutely stunning.’
      • ‘Season ribs with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on all sides.’
      • ‘To prepare her meat, she seared a 2-pound chuck roast and 4 country-style ribs in a large Dutch oven.’
      • ‘New cooks will learn blanching and searing and how to sauté.’
      flash-fry, seal, brown, fry quickly, grill quickly, toast
      View synonyms
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction (of pain) be experienced as a sudden, burning sensation.

    ‘a crushing pain seared through his chest’
    • ‘The sudden attack shocked him, and he felt pain sear up his leg as he stepped away.’
    • ‘Blaise slowly got to his feet, pain searing through his head.’
    • ‘She groaned, arching back suddenly as pain seared through her side.’
    • ‘Chiren yelled, pain searing all the way up to his neck.’
    • ‘As pain sears through my leg, I release the rope and slump to the river bed, closing my eyes in pain.’
    • ‘I nodded slightly, starting to sit up, ignoring the twinges of pain searing across my whole upper body.’
    • ‘My chest sears with pain at your words, sending a cold shiver down my spine.’
    • ‘I flinch as a sudden burst of pain sears through me.’
    • ‘The slightest movement sent pain searing through her body.’
    • ‘Her abdomen was a sea of agony, flames of red-hot pain searing out from the convulsed muscles.’
    • ‘Suddenly a burning pain seared through the centre of her forehead, just above her dark eyebrows.’
    • ‘Suddenly pain seared through his right cheek, bringing back his senses in a wave of madness.’
    • ‘Suddenly a jolt of pain seared through my body, like flames being ignited.’
    • ‘Pain sears from my stomach as he embraces me but nevertheless it feels really good to be in Brian's arm.’
    • ‘Pain was still searing throughout his left shoulder.’
    • ‘A sharp pain seared through my chest that might or might not have been related to being fresh out of a fight.’
    • ‘Suddenly a fiery pain seared through Cliff's right side.’
    • ‘Sanjeet screamed in agony, pain searing throughout his entire body.’
    • ‘But, before she could even help with the fight, she felt a sharp pain searing through her left arm.’
    • ‘Pain seared throughout her entire body, he had cut her chest with his now long claws.’
  • 3archaic Cause to wither.

    ‘when summer sears the plains’
    • ‘Scattered along fertile valleys, between sands and snows, most Afghan people farm land which is seared by 40 Centigrade summers, and is snowbound by the long, cold winters.’
    1. 3.1 Make (someone's conscience or feelings) insensitive.
      ‘a long career of ambition, craft, and despotic rule never utterly seared his conscience’
      • ‘Have we as a people had our conscience so seared that atrocities such as this cause not an eyebrow to even raise?’
      • ‘A person with a seared conscience no longer has feelings toward God or His eternal laws.’

adjective

  • variant spelling of sere
    • ‘But a certain bitter aura also hung about the flower; the last in bloom among sere grasses, fallen leaves, and rimy dawns.’
    • ‘I saw long summer grasses, faded and sere, and trees shaped by the wind.’
    • ‘Hyacinth and Narcissus stand by, wan and sere.’
    • ‘Inspired by this statement, Porter tried to make art out of decay, to make, he explained, ‘the sere, brown leaves of winter’ seem ‘as beautiful as the fresh green of spring.’’
    • ‘He was lying on a small camp-bedstead in a corner between the fireplace and the wall, and in a glass on a mantelpiece was an arum lily, sere and yellow, which drooped lamentably down over his head.’
    • ‘The flowers will die, sere stalks suggesting bones or ashes.’
    • ‘The high pastureland was lush with grass, sere now after the summer's heat.’
    • ‘Approaching the small township of Pripyat, downwind from the disaster, we passed through a belt of pinewoods, sere and withered, the needles distorted as if scorched by unseen flame.’

Origin

Old English sēar (adjective), sēarian (verb), of Germanic origin.

Pronunciation

sear

/sɪə/