verb (used with object)
- to make extremely, excessively, or completely dry, as heat, sun, and wind do.
- to make dry, hot, or thirsty: Walking in the sun parched his throat.
- to dry (peas, beans, grain, etc.) by exposure to heat without burning; to toast or roast slightly: A staple of the Indian diet was parched corn.
- to dry or shrivel with cold.
verb (used without object)
- to suffer from heat, thirst, or need of water.
- to become parched; undergo drying by heat.
- to dry (usually followed by up).
- to deprive or be deprived of water; dry upthe sun parches the fields
- (tr; usually passive) to make very thirstyI was parched after the run
- (tr) to roast (corn, etc) lightly
v.late 14c., “to roast or dry” (peas, beans, corn, etc.), of uncertain origin. Klein and OED reject derivations from Old North French perchier (Old French percer) “to pierce” and Latin persiccare “to dry thoroughly.” Barnhart suggests possibly from Middle English perchen, variant of perishen “to perish” (see perish). Klein “tentatively” suggests a back-formation from parchment. Surname Parchecorn is attested from mid-14c. Meaning “to dry with excessive heat” is mid-15c. Related: Parched; parching.