Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To burn superficially; scorch.
  • transitive v. To burn off the feathers or bristles of (a carcass of a bird or animal) by subjecting briefly to flame. See Synonyms at burn1.
  • transitive v. To burn the ends of (hair, for example).
  • transitive v. To burn the nap from (cloth) in manufacturing.
  • n. A slight or surface burn; a scorch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To burn slightly.
  • n. A burning of the surface; a slight burn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A burning of the surface; a slight burn.
  • transitive v. To burn slightly or superficially; to burn the surface of; to burn the ends or outside of.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To remove the nap of (cloth), by passing it rapidly over a red-hot bar, or over a flame, preliminary to dyeing it.
  • transitive v. To remove the hair or down from (a plucked chicken or the like) by passing it over a flame.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To burn superficially; especially, to burn off the ends or projections of: as, to singe a fowl (to burn off the small downy or thready feathers left after plucking); to singe cloth or calico (to burn off the projecting pile or nap); to singe the hair of the head.
  • To parch; make arid and dry.
  • To act on with an effect similar to that of heat: said of extreme cold.
  • Figuratively, to injure superficially; come near injuring seriously; harm.
  • Synonyms Sear, etc. See scorch.
  • n. A burning of the surface; a scorching; hence, a heat capable of singeing.
  • n. An injury or hurt caused by singeing; a superficial burn.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burn superficially or lightly
  • n. a surface burn
  • v. become superficially burned

Etymologies

Middle English sengen, from Old English sengan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sengen, from Old English sengan, sæncgan ("to singe, burn slightly, scorch, afflict"), from Proto-Germanic *sangijanan (“to burn, torch”), from Proto-Indo-European *senk- (“to burn”). Cognate with Dutch zengen ("to singe, scorch"), German sengen ("to singe, scorch"), Icelandic sangr ("burnt, scorched"). (Wiktionary)

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