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sear 1 (sîr)
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v. seared, sear·ing, sears
v.tr.
1. To char, scorch, or burn the surface of.
2. To brown (meat) quickly using very high heat. See Synonyms at burn1.
3. To cause to dry up and wither.
4.
a. To cause emotional pain or trauma to: "The image of the burdened, solitary president ... seared the American mind as never before" (James Carroll).
b. To cause to be felt or remembered because of emotional intensity: "Such increases in value have seared into people's minds the idea that investments will almost always pay off" (David Leonhardt).
v.intr.
1. To become dried up or withered.
2. To be felt or remembered because of emotional intensity: The incident seared into the nation's memory.
n.
A condition, such as a scar, produced by searing.

[Middle English seren, from Old English sēarian, to wither, from sēar, withered.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
sear 2 (sîr)
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n.
The catch in a gunlock that keeps the hammer halfcocked or fully cocked.

[Probably French serre, something that grasps, from Old French, lock, from serrer, to grasp, from Vulgar Latin *serrāre, from Late Latin serāre, to bolt, from Latin sera, bar, bolt; see ser-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
sear 3 (sîr)
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adj.
Variant of sere1.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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