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sear (v.)

Old English searian (intransitive) "dry up, to wither," from Proto-Germanic *saurajan (source also of 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.

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Definitions of sear from WordNet
1
sear (v.)
make very hot and dry;
Synonyms: scorch
sear (v.)
become superficially burned;
Synonyms: scorch / singe
sear (v.)
burn slightly and superficially so as to affect color;
Synonyms: char / blacken / scorch
sear (v.)
cause to wither or parch from exposure to heat;
Synonyms: parch
2
sear (adj.)
(used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture;
Synonyms: dried-up / sere / shriveled / shrivelled / withered
From wordnet.princeton.edu