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

  • transitive v. To burn with or as if with hot liquid or steam.
  • transitive v. To subject to or treat with boiling water: scalded the hide to remove the hair; scalded and peeled the tomatoes.
  • transitive v. To heat (a liquid, such as milk) almost to the boiling point.
  • transitive v. To criticize harshly; excoriate.
  • intransitive v. To become scalded.
  • n. A body injury caused by scalding.
  • n. Botany A superficial discoloration on fruit, vegetables, leaves, or tree trunks caused by sudden exposure to intense sunlight or the action of gases.
  • n. Botany A disease of some cereal grasses caused by a fungus of the genus Rhynchosporium.
  • n. Variant of skald.
  • n. Variant of scall.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Scaliness; a scabby skin disease.
  • n. Alternative form of skald.
  • v. To burn with hot liquid.
  • v. To heat almost to boiling.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Affected with the scab; scabby.
  • adj. Scurvy; paltry.
  • n. A burn, or injury to the skin or flesh, by some hot liquid, or by steam.
  • n. Scurf on the head. See scall.
  • n. 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.
  • transitive v. To burn with hot liquid or steam; to pain or injure by contact with, or immersion in, any hot fluid.
  • transitive v. To expose to a boiling or violent heat over a fire, or in hot water or other liquor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • See scalled.
  • A Scotch form of scold.
  • n. A burn or injury to the skin and flesh by a hot liquid or vapor.
  • n. Scab; scall; scurf on the head.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A European dodder, Cuscuta Europæa. Also scaldweed.
  • n. Same as sun-scald, 2.

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

  • v. treat with boiling water
  • n. the act of burning with steam or hot water
  • v. burn with a hot liquid or steam
  • n. a burn cause by hot liquid or steam
  • v. subject to harsh criticism
  • v. 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-1 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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  • I'd say the burning with hot water thing springs more readily to mind than scalding criticism.

    May 4, 2008

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

    February 21, 2007