scald·​ing | \ ˈskȯl-diŋ How to pronounce scalding (audio) \

Definition of scalding

1 : hot enough to scald scalding water
2a : having or producing the feeling of being burned scalding sun scalding sand
b : scathing scalding criticism

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of scalding in a Sentence

The men worked in the scalding sun. a scalding bowl of soup
Recent Examples on the Web But Reimann achieves an exemplary balance by alternating his scalding eruptions of vocal power (which in general are sparsely accompanied, sometimes by percussion alone) with full-throttle tutti blasts from the orchestra. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, "Opera at the Edge," 7 Dec. 2019 Experts generally agree on the same basic steps to reduce risks in your house: Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees to prevent scalding. Paul L. Underwood, New York Times, "Yes, You Absolutely Need to Baby Proof," 17 Apr. 2020 One man placed in a scalding bath or shower went to the hospital with second-degree burns. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Beatings, Burns and Betrayal: The Willowbrook Scandal’s Legacy," 21 Feb. 2020 Two weeks ago, family and friends laid to rest Malachi Lawson, the 4-year-old who was burned in a scalding bath, his body then tossed in a dumpster. Tim Prudente,, "Baltimore man found guilty of killing girlfriend’s baby — the 2nd time he’s been convicted in a child’s death," 26 Aug. 2019 And in 2017, a Manhattan man, 69, ended up in a hospital burn unit with second-degree burns over his entire back, groin, calves and feet; he had been placed in a scalding tub or shower. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Beatings, Burns and Betrayal: The Willowbrook Scandal’s Legacy," 21 Feb. 2020 But the Nets bench called timeout with 1.4 seconds left, giving them a chance to get the ball to the scalding-hot LeVert. Adam Himmelsbach,, "‘That was ridiculous’ — Brad Stevens sums up Celtics’ incredible OT loss," 4 Mar. 2020 The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin and there is scalding water just below the surface, park officials said. Washington Post, "2 men banned from park for years for walking on Old Faithful," 9 Jan. 2020 His body was also covered in blisters from being placed facedown in the tub’s scalding water, the charging documents state. Chris Harris,, "Chicago Mom Allegedly Stabbed Baby Repeatedly and Threw Toddler Son Out of Window Before Jumping," 6 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scalding.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of scalding

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scalding

Time Traveler for scalding

Time Traveler

The first known use of scalding was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for scalding

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scalding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scalding


How to pronounce scalding (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scalding

: very hot
: very critical : very harsh or severe


scald·​ing | \ ˈskȯl-diŋ How to pronounce scalding (audio) \

Kids Definition of scalding

: very hot scalding soup

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on scalding

What made you want to look up scalding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!