From Middle English seer, seere, from Old English sēar, sīere (“dry, sere, sear, withered, barren”), from Proto-Germanic *sauzaz (“dry”), from Proto-Indo-European *sh₂ews- (“dry, parched”) (also reconstructed as *h₂sews-). Cognate with Dutch zoor (“dry, rough”), Low German soor (“dry”), German sohr (“parched, dried up”), dialectal Norwegian søyr (“the desiccation and death of a tree”), Lithuanian saũsas (“dry”), Homeric Ancient Greek αὖος (aûos, “dry”).
From Middle English seeren, seren, from Old English sēarian (“to become sere, to grow sear, wither, pine away”), from Proto-Germanic *sauzōną, *sauzijaną (“to become dry”). Related to Old High German sōrēn (“to wither, wilt”). See Etymology 1 for more cognates. The use in firearms terminology may relate to French serrer (“to grip”).
- To char, scorch, or burn the surface of something with a hot instrument.
- To wither; to dry up.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- (figuratively) To mark permanently, as if by burning.
- The events of that day were seared into her memory.
sear (plural sears)