verb (used with object)
- to burn or char the surface of: She seared the steak to seal in the juices.
- to mark with a branding iron.
- to burn or scorch injuriously or painfully: He seared his hand on a hot steam pipe.
- to make callous or unfeeling; harden: The hardship of her youth has seared her emotionally.
- to dry up or wither; parch.
verb (used without object)
- to become dry or withered, as vegetation.
- a mark or scar made by searing.
- a pivoted piece that holds the hammer at full cock or half cock in the firing mechanism of small arms.
- dry; withered.
- to scorch or burn the surface of
- to brand with a hot iron
- to cause to wither or dry up
- rare to make callous or unfeeling
- a mark caused by searing
- poetic dried up
- the catch in the lock of a small firearm that holds the hammer or firing pin cocked
- archaic dried up or withered
- a rare spelling of sear 1 (def. 1)
- the series of changes occurring in the ecological succession of a particular community
v.Old English searian (intransitive) “dry up, to wither,” from Proto-Germanic *saurajan (cf. Middle Dutch soor “dry,” Old High German soren “become dry”), from root of sear “dried up, withered” (see sere). Meaning “cause to wither” is from early 15c. Meaning “to brand, to burn by hot iron” is recorded from c.1400, originally especially of cauterizing wounds; figurative use is from 1580s. Related: Seared; searing. adj.Old English sear “dried up, withered, barren,” from Proto-Germanic *sauzas (cf. Middle Low German sor, Dutch zoor), from PIE root *saus- “dry” (cf. Sanskrit susyati “dries, withers;” Old Persian uška- “dry” (adj.), “land” (n.); Avestan huška- “dry;” Latin sudus “dry”). A good word now relegated to bad poetry. Related to sear. Sere month was an old name for “August.”
- The entire sequence of ecological communities successively occupying an area from the initial stage to the climax community. See more at succession.