I feel like it should be alright, but thought I'd get your feelings on whether it's appropriate to employ the term "got burned" if no fire was involved, specifically as it pertains to injury to a living thing, or if I am precluded from having been burned by hot water, and have to employ scalded or cooked or some other non flame related term?

  • 4
    "Scalded" is the more accurate term, but "I burned my hand when I spilled the boiling water." works too.
    – Mitch
    Nov 30, 2013 at 3:43
  • Should it be "if it were injured"? Nov 30, 2013 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


In my estimation, you can suffer burns from any overly hot substance (boiling water, cooking oil, bacon grease, air, electric stovetop, etc.), not just the direct application of actual flame.

  • yeah, I think this is right. I also thought of acid burns after I posted the question, which is entirely correct looking usage, and obviously has no fire involved. Nov 30, 2013 at 3:49

This definition here seems a good example of why your usage is okay:

to injure or damage by or as if by exposure to fire, heat, or radiation


burn v "burned my skin with the acid." (TFD)

3. To damage or injure by fire, heat, radiation, electricity, or a caustic agent: burned the toast; burned my skin with the acid.

So, yes, I guess you could say that.

Burns are injuries to tissues caused by heat, friction, electricity, radiation, or chemicals.

The source of this heat may be the sun (causing a sunburn), hot liquids, steam, fire, electricity, friction (causing rug burns and rope burns), and chemicals (causing a caustic burn upon contact).

(src: TFD Med.)

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