from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To burn (a person, for example) with hot liquid or steam.
  • transitive verb To subject to or treat with boiling water.
  • transitive verb To heat (a liquid, such as milk) almost to the boiling point.
  • transitive verb To affect with a sensation similar to that caused by hot liquid on the skin.
  • transitive verb To cause great emotional pain to.
  • transitive verb To criticize harshly; excoriate.
  • noun A body injury caused by scalding.
  • noun A discoloration of leaves or stored fruit caused by any of various factors, such as exposure to intense light, oxidation, or infection with certain bacteria and fungi.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Scab; scall; scurf on the head.
  • To burn or affect painfully with or as with a hot or boiling liquid or with steam: formerly used also of burning with a hot iron.
  • To cook slightly by exposure for a short time to steam or to hot water or some other heated liquid: as, to scald milk.
  • To subject to the action of boiling water for the purpose of cleansing thoroughly: as, to scald a tub.
  • noun A burn or injury to the skin and flesh by a hot liquid or vapor.
  • See scalled.
  • A Scotch form of scold.
  • noun An ancient Scandinavian poet; one who composed poems in honor of distinguished men and their achievements, and recited and sang them on public occasions. The scalds of the Norsemen answered to the bards of the Britons or Celts.
  • noun A European dodder, Cuscuta Europæa. Also scaldweed.
  • noun Same as sun-scald, 2.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A burn, or injury to the skin or flesh, by some hot liquid, or by steam.
  • transitive verb To burn with hot liquid or steam; to pain or injure by contact with, or immersion in, any hot fluid.
  • transitive verb To expose to a boiling or violent heat over a fire, or in hot water or other liquor.
  • noun Scurf on the head. See scall.
  • adjective Affected with the scab; scabby.
  • adjective obsolete Scurvy; paltry.
  • adjective (Zoöl.), [Ireland] the hooded crow.
  • adjective (Med.) a name popularly given to several diseases of the scalp characterized by pustules (the dried discharge of which forms scales) and by falling out of the hair.
  • noun One of the ancient Scandinavian poets and historiographers; a reciter and singer of heroic poems, eulogies, etc., among the Norsemen; more rarely, a bard of any of the ancient Teutonic tribes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To burn with hot liquid.
  • verb cooking To heat almost to boiling.
  • noun obsolete Scaliness; a scabby skin disease.
  • noun Alternative form of skald.

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

  • verb treat with boiling water
  • noun the act of burning with steam or hot water
  • verb burn with a hot liquid or steam
  • noun a burn cause by hot liquid or steam
  • verb subject to harsh criticism
  • verb heat to the boiling point


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

[Middle English scalden, from Old North French escalder, from Late Latin excaldāre, to wash in hot water : Latin ex-, ex- + Latin calidus, caldus, warm, hot; see kelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French escalder (Old French eschalder, French échauder), from Late Latin excaldare ("bathe in hot water"), from Latin ex- ("off, out") + calidus ("hot") from whence English calorie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of scall.


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  • No matter what it means, this word actually sounds painful.

    February 21, 2007

  • I'd say the burning with hot water thing springs more readily to mind than scalding criticism.

    May 4, 2008