American Dictionary of the English Language

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SCORCH, verb transitive

1. To burn superficially; to subject to a degree of heat that changes the color of a thing, or both the color and texture of the surface. Fire will scorch linen or cotton very speedily in extremely cold weather.

2. To burn; to affect painfully with heat. Scorched with the burning sun or burning sands of Africa.

SCORCH, verb intransitive To be burnt on the surface; to be parched; to be dried up.

Scatter a little mungy straw and fern among your seedlings, to prevent the roots from scorching.