The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sear \Sear\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Seared; p. pr. & vb. n.
Searing.] [OE. seeren, AS. se['a]rian. See Sear, a.]
1. To wither; to dry up. --Shak.
2. To burn (the surface of) to dryness and hardness; to
cauterize; to expose to a degree of heat such as changes
the color or the hardness and texture of the surface; to
scorch; to make callous; as, to sear the skin or flesh.
Also used figuratively.
I'm seared with burning steel. --Rowe.
It was in vain that the amiable divine tried to give
salutary pain to that seared conscience. --Macaulay.
The discipline of war, being a discipline in
destruction of life, is a discipline in callousness.
Whatever sympathies exist are seared. --H. Spencer.
Note: Sear is allied to scorch in signification; but it is
applied primarily to animal flesh, and has special
reference to the effect of heat in marking the surface
hard. Scorch is applied to flesh, cloth, or any other
substance, and has no reference to the effect of
To sear up, to close by searing. "Cherish veins of good
humor, and sear up those of ill." --Sir W. Temple.