1. To burn slightly or superficially; to burn the surface of; to burn the ends or outside of; as, to singe the hair or the skin. "You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, . . . Singe my white head!" (Shak) "I singed the toes of an ape through a burning glass." (L'Estrange)

2. To remove the nap of (cloth), by passing it rapidly over a red-hot bar, or over a flame, preliminary to dyeing it. To remove the hair or down from (a plucked chicken or the like) by passing it over a flame.

Origin: OE. Sengen, AS. Sengan in besengan (akin to D. Zengen, G. Sengen), originally, to cause to sing, fr. AS. Singan to sing, in allusion to the singing or hissing sound often produced when a substance is singed, or slightly burned. See Sing.

(01 Mar 1998)

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