See also: Sear

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

  • (US) IPA(key): /sɪɚ/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /sɪə(ɹ)/
  • Rhymes: -ɪə(ɹ)
  • (file)

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English sere, seer, seere, from Old English sēar, sīere (dry, sere, sear, withered, barren), from Proto-West Germanic *sauʀ(ī), from Proto-Germanic *sauzaz (dry), from Proto-Indo-European *sh₂ews- (dry, parched) (also reconstructed as *h₂sews-).

Cognate with Dutch zoor (dry, rough), Low German soor (dry), German sohr (parched, dried up), dialectal Norwegian søyr (the desiccation and death of a tree), Lithuanian saũsas (dry), Homeric Ancient Greek αὖος (aûos, dry). Doublet of sere and sare.

Adjective edit

sear (comparative searer or more sear, superlative searest or most sear)

  1. Dry; withered, especially of vegetation.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English seren, seeren, from Old English sēarian (to become sere, to grow sear, wither, pine away), from Proto-West Germanic *sauʀēn (to dry out, become dry); compare also Proto-Germanic *sauzijaną (to make dry). Related to Old High German sōrēn (to wither, wilt). See Etymology 1 for more cognates. The use in firearms terminology may relate to French serrer (to grip).

Verb edit

sear (third-person singular simple present sears, present participle searing, simple past and past participle seared)

  1. (transitive) To char, scorch, or burn the surface of (something) with a hot instrument.
    • 2001, Ben Stivers, Wrath of Magic, page 123:
      I will sear the skin from your flesh. You will die a thousand deaths!
    • 2010, Jeff Potter, Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food, page 180:
      When you drop the tuna onto the pan, the outside will sear and cook quickly while leaving as much of the center as possible in its raw state.
    • 2016, Melissa Cookston, Smokin' Hot in the South, page 12:
      I often will sear steaks, move them to a cooler side, then use the hot side to grill or sauté vegetables, make a sauce in a cast-iron skillet, or grill some fruit for dessert while the steak finishes.
  2. To wither; to dry up.
    • 1852 May, Henry F. French, “Some Remarks on Subsoil Plowing”, in The New England Farmer, volume 4, number 5, page 231:
      The drought was so severe as to sear the grass and the leaves of maple trees which had grown well for two years, standing in sward land by the roadside, and yet the corn, within ten feet, on the subsoiled land, did not roll once in the whole season, even at mid-day, and there was scarcely another piece in the neighborhood which escaped serious injury.
    • 1971, Chapters From the American Experience, page 277:
      The spring and summer of 1936 brought to the Great Plains one of those terrible periodic droughts that sear the crops and convert the “short-grass country” into a desert.
    • 2014, Bernard N. Lee, Jr., Michele Barand, A Look Back in Time, page 50:
      The early morning sun had begun to sear the grass.
    • 2018, Michael Furie, Peg Aloi, JD Hortwort, Llewellyn's 2019 Sabbats Almanac:
      She might just as easily have been a goddess of the harvest, since the ancient Greeks sowed in the fall and reaped in the spring before the dry heat of summer could sear the crops in the fields.
  3. (transitive, figurative) To make callous or insensible.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To mark permanently, as if by burning.
    The events of that day were seared into her memory.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Noun edit

sear (plural sears)

  1. A scar produced by searing
  2. Part of a gun that retards the hammer until the trigger is pulled.
Translations edit

Anagrams edit

Scottish Gaelic edit

Etymology edit

Variant of the synonym an ear, from Old Irish an air (from before).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit


  1. eastern, east

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

References edit

West Frisian edit

Etymology edit

From Old Frisian *sēr, from Proto-West Germanic *sair. Compare English sore, Dutch zeer.

Adjective edit


  1. painful

Inflection edit

Inflection of sear
uninflected sear
inflected seare
comparative searder
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial sear searder it searst
it searste
indefinite c. sing. seare seardere searste
n. sing. sear searder searste
plural seare seardere searste
definite seare seardere searste
partitive sears searders

Further reading edit

  • sear (I)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011