burnt: damaged or injured by burning

burnt toast

Your hand looks badly burnt.

"Burn" often connects to "fire"

I am not sur if we say "to get burnt by the boiling water"?

  • Do you mean 'boiled water'?
    – Void
    Mar 18, 2020 at 13:18
  • 1
    @DecapitatedSoul Boiled water doesn't have to be hot. Boiling water under normal conditions is pretty hot (see this, though).
    – user3395
    Mar 18, 2020 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


You can definitely use burn to describe injuries from boiling water, but the more specific verb is scald, which refers to injuries from boiling liquid or steam.

He was scalded by the boiling water when he dropped the pot. He got several second degree burns.

  • I would actually say that using the verb "burn" with water would sound strange to most English speakers, so you shouldn't use it in that case ("scald" is definitely preferable). However, the resulting injury is still called a "burn" (noun), regardless of whether it happened by burning (dry heat) or scalding (wet heat).
    – Foogod
    Mar 18, 2020 at 19:51

A thesaurus is often useful when you want to find a word with a specific meaning, and you only know a word with a related or more general meaning.

In this case https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/burnt gives some useful suggestions:

charred parched scalded scorched seared singed

You need to check each one. For example "charred" means "slightly burnt at the edge" and "seared" means "burnt only on the surface (eg a meat steak)" These are no good. But scalded means "to burn or affect painfully with hot liquid or steam." That is the exact meaning you want.

A thesaurus is the right tool to answer this kind of question.

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