Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A burned or partly burned substance, such as coal, that is not reduced to ashes but is incapable of further combustion.
  • n. A partly charred substance that can burn further but without flame.
  • n. Ashes.
  • n. Geology See scoria.
  • n. Metallurgy See scoria.
  • n. Slag from a metal furnace.
  • transitive v. To burn or reduce to cinders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Partially or mostly burnt material that results from incomplete combustion of coal or wood etc.
  • n. An ember.
  • n. Slag from a metal furnace.
  • v. to reduce something to cinders

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Partly burned or vitrified coal, or other combustible, in which fire is extinct.
  • n. A hot coal without flame; an ember.
  • n. A scale thrown off in forging metal.
  • n. The slag of a furnace, or scoriaceous lava from a volcano.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A piece or mass of any substance that has been partially consumed or calcined by heat and then quenched: as, the cinder of a forge.
  • n. A small live coal among ashes; an ember.
  • n. pl. The mass of ashes, with small fragments of unconsumed coal interspersed, which remains after imperfect combustion, or after a fire has gone out. (See coke.)
  • n. plural In geology, coarse ash or scoriæ thrown out of volcanos. (See ash.) This material when solidified becomes tuff or tufa.
  • n. One of the scales thrown off by iron when it is worked by the blacksmith.
  • n. In metallurgy, slag, especially that produced in making pig-iron in the blast-furnace.
  • n. Any strong liquor, as brandy, whisky, sherry, etc., mixed with a weaker beverage, as soda-water, lemonade, water, etc., to fortify it; a “stick.”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fragment of incombustible matter left after a wood or coal or charcoal fire

Etymologies

Alteration (influenced by Old French cendre, ashes) of Middle English sinder, from Old English, slag, dross.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English cinder, sinder, from Old English sinder ("cinder, dross, slag, scoria, dross of iron, impurity of metal"), from Proto-Germanic *sindran, *sindraz, *sendraz (“dross, cinder, slag”), from Proto-Indo-European *sendʰro- (“coagulating fluid, liquid slag, scale, cinder”). Cognate with Scots sinder ("ember, cinder"), West Frisian sindel, sintel ("cinder, slag"), Dutch sintel ("cinder, ember, slag"), Middle Low German sinder, sinter ("cinder, slag"), German Sinter ("dross of iron, scale"), Danish sinder ("spark of ignited iron, cinder"), Swedish sinder ("slag or dross from a forge"), Icelandic sindur ("scoring"), Old Church Slavonic сядра ("lime cinder, gypsum"). Spelling (c- for s-) influenced by unrelated French cendre ("ashes"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To remedy this inconvenience, they make use of another material which they call cinder, it being nothing else but the refuse of the ore after the melting hath been extracted, which, being melted with the other in due quantity, gives it that excellent temper of toughness for which this iron is preferred before any other that is brought from foreign parts.

    The Forest of Dean An Historical and Descriptive Account

  • To remedy this inconvenience, they make use of another material, which they call cinder, it being nothing else but the refuse of the ore, after the melting hath been extracted, which, being melted with the other in due quantity, gives it that excellent temper of toughness for which this iron is preferred before any other that is brought from foreign parts.

    Iron Making in the Olden Times as instanced in the Ancient Mines, Forges, and Furnaces of The Forest of Dean

  • "By this simple process," said he, "all the earthy particles are pressed out and the iron becomes at once free from dross, and what is usually called cinder, and is compressed into a fibrous and tough state."

    Industrial Biography

  • When she had done her work she used to go into the chimney-corner and sit down among cinders and ashes, which made her commonly be called a cinder maid; but the youngest, who was not so rude and uncivil as the eldest, called her Cinderella.

    Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper and Other Stories

  • The case, a classic of SHC, has long been known as the "cinder woman" mystery.

    FOXNews.com

  • -- Lead, or any other metal except gold or silver, is calcined in the air; the metal loses its characteristic properties, and is changed into a powdery substance, a kind of cinder or calx.

    The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry

  • It says that the best way to remove a cinder from your eye is to place under your eyelid the eyeball of a lobster.

    Gene's true calling ... is calling

  • The commandments are featured on 81/2-by-11 pieces of paper in six schools, generally hung on white cinder block near main entrances and hallways.

    Ten Commandments in school stirs fight in Va. district

  • And then how her and her daddy came around the edge of the building at about the time she was cracking Heather's nose against a cinder block.

    An Old Story But New For Cora

  • Beating on the top, pushing through mesquite, Hacking through 2x4's a few close calls on metal studs past the cinder blocks. ill use it as a wedge ill use it as an ice pick ill use it for bait ill drop it throw it grind it bend it ill try to cut nails ill try to cut soft metals ill use it on 500 600 mcm ill use it on 12 10 1 awg.

    Best New Knife 2009: DiamondBlade P.D.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I did not know this. Thanks! Such things are fascinating. Like the fact that the words "island" and "isle" are completely unrelated eytmologically.

    September 11, 2008

  • Surprising etymology. This seems an obvious borrowing, French cendre, Latin cinerem, but in fact is unrelated. It's native English and was originally 'sinder' (cognate with 'sinter' of similar meaning, from German). The original meaning was "slag, scoria". The change of spelling to c- under French/Latin influence also led to a slight shift in meaning.

    September 11, 2008