Definition of sear in US 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All I could do was watch my hand as it was seared by the heat.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Worse, the horns radiated heat, searing his hands.’
    • ‘Rodgers lay on his back, the hot concrete searing his sores but easing his muscles.’
    • ‘How will those hardy minions survive the summer blasts of arctic air conditioning in between the bouts of broiling street heat beneath searing serge?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His right leg was seared raw and burned almost to the bone in places.’
    • ‘Heat from the engine seared my side and my back, and I squirmed, trying to avoid the burning.’
    • ‘Data has come from flight recorders submerged in saltwater and seared by 1,000-degree temperatures.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The metal where Cath's hands grabbed suddenly flashed hot, searing her skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    scorch, burn, singe, scald, char
    distress, grieve, sadden, make miserable, make wretched, upset, trouble, harrow, cause anguish to, afflict, perturb, disturb
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of pain) be experienced as a sudden, burning sensation.
      ‘a crushing pain seared through his chest’
      • ‘Suddenly a fiery pain seared through Cliff's right side.’
      • ‘Suddenly a jolt of pain seared through my body, like flames being ignited.’
      • ‘Chiren yelled, pain searing all the way up to his neck.’
      • ‘Blaise slowly got to his feet, pain searing through his head.’
      • ‘Sanjeet screamed in agony, pain searing throughout his entire body.’
      • ‘Suddenly pain seared through his right cheek, bringing back his senses in a wave of madness.’
      • ‘But, before she could even help with the fight, she felt a sharp pain searing through her left arm.’
      • ‘The sudden attack shocked him, and he felt pain sear up his leg as he stepped away.’
      • ‘A sharp pain seared through my chest that might or might not have been related to being fresh out of a fight.’
      • ‘My chest sears with pain at your words, sending a cold shiver down my spine.’
      • ‘Pain sears from my stomach as he embraces me but nevertheless it feels really good to be in Brian's arm.’
      • ‘The slightest movement sent pain searing through her body.’
      • ‘Pain seared throughout her entire body, he had cut her chest with his now long claws.’
      • ‘I nodded slightly, starting to sit up, ignoring the twinges of pain searing across my whole upper body.’
      • ‘Pain was still searing throughout his left shoulder.’
      • ‘As pain sears through my leg, I release the rope and slump to the river bed, closing my eyes in pain.’
      • ‘Her abdomen was a sea of agony, flames of red-hot pain searing out from the convulsed muscles.’
      • ‘I flinch as a sudden burst of pain sears through me.’
      • ‘Suddenly a burning pain seared through the centre of her forehead, just above her dark eyebrows.’
      • ‘She groaned, arching back suddenly as pain seared through her side.’
    2. 1.2 Brown (food) quickly at a high temperature so that it will retain its juices in subsequent cooking.
      ‘seared chicken livers’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Season chickens and sear until brown on all sides, remove from pot and set aside.’
      • ‘This allows food to sear and cook quickly, which augments flavors.’
      • ‘Heat a small amount of oil in a pan and sear scallops lightly on each side.’
      • ‘To prepare her meat, she seared a 2-pound chuck roast and 4 country-style ribs in a large Dutch oven.’
      • ‘I had seared tuna steak which was absolutely stunning.’
      • ‘To ensure its tenderness, the loin was first seared then cooked at a very low temperature for a couple of hours.’
      • ‘New cooks will learn blanching and searing and how to sauté.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lightly coat sweetbreads in flour and sear until golden brown and crisp.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Season the frogs' legs, dip in the eggs, coat with the bread crumbs, and sear on both sides until golden brown about three minutes.’
      • ‘Her main course of fresh striped bass had been seared so that the skin was slightly crispy, enclosing a melt-in-your-mouth fillet.’
      • ‘He offers this simple tenderloin - quickly sautéed to sear the outside but not melt the marbling inside - for a special holiday meal.’
      • ‘Season ribs with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on all sides.’
      • ‘This cooking method allows small pieces of food to be seared and cooked very superficially, thus retaining their texture and flavour.’
      • ‘The meat was seared crisp around the edges, with just a hint of rosiness at its center.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is sensationally simple: ripe grapes are simply tossed into a pan into which you have seared Italian-style pork sausages.’
      flash-fry, seal, brown, fry quickly, grill quickly, toast
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3archaic Cause to wither.
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4archaic Make (someone's conscience, heart, or feelings) insensitive.
      • ‘A person with a seared conscience no longer has feelings toward God or His eternal laws.’
      • ‘Have we as a people had our conscience so seared that atrocities such as this cause not an eyebrow to even raise?’

adjective

  • variant spelling of 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.’’
    • ‘I saw long summer grasses, faded and sere, and trees shaped by the wind.’
    • ‘Hyacinth and Narcissus stand by, wan and sere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But a certain bitter aura also hung about the flower; the last in bloom among sere grasses, fallen leaves, and rimy dawns.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

sear

/sɪr//sir/