from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various chiefly deciduous trees of the genus Fraxinus, having opposite, pinnately compound leaves, clusters of small flowers, and one-seeded winged fruits.
  • noun The strong, elastic wood of this tree, used for furniture, tool handles, and sporting goods such as baseball bats.
  • noun Linguistics The letter æ in Old English and some modern phonetic alphabets, representing the vowel sound of Modern English ash.
  • noun The grayish-white to black powdery residue left when something is burned.
  • noun Geology Pulverized particulate matter ejected by volcanic eruption.
  • noun The mineral residue of incinerated organic matter, used as an additive in pet foods.
  • noun Ruins.
  • noun Bodily remains, especially after cremation or decay.
  • transitive verb To reduce or convert to ash.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany: The popular name of trees belonging to the genus Fraxinus (which see).
  • noun The name (with some adjunct) of various trees or shrubs of other genera, generally from some resemblance in foliage or qualities of the wood to the common ash. (See below.) Also, in parts of England, the name of some herbaceous plants, chiefly umbelliferous, as the ground-ash, or ashweed, Ægopodium Podagraria and Angelica sylvestris, and the sweet ash, Anthriscus sylvestris.
  • noun The wood of the ash-tree; hence, something made of ash, as the shaft of a lance or spear.
  • Pertaining to or like the ash; made of ash.
  • To strew or sprinkle with ashes.
  • To convert into ashes.
  • noun The involatile constituents of wine; the solid residue evaporated to dryness.
  • noun What remains of a body that is burned; the incombustible residue of organic substances (animal or vegetable) remaining after combustion; in common usage, any incombustible residue of materials used as fuel: usually in the plural.
  • noun Fine material thrown out of a volcano in eruption.
  • noun plural The remains of the human body when burned; hence, a dead body or corpse; mortal remains.
  • noun In Australia, the name of various trees having a real or fancied resemblance to those of the genus Fraxinus, especially of trees of the genera Elæocarpus and Flindersia.
  • noun Fraxinus lanceolata.
  • noun A small Australian tree, Elæodendrum australe, whose close-grained pinkish wood is used for staves, oars, and shingles. Also called olive-wood.
  • noun The green ash, Fraxinus lanceolata.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To strew or sprinkle with ashes.
  • noun sing. of ashes.
  • noun burnt powered; bone earth.
  • noun See under Ashes.
  • noun (Bot.) A genus of trees of the Olive family, having opposite pinnate leaves, many of the species furnishing valuable timber, as the European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and the white ash (Fraxinus Americana).
  • noun are shrubs of different families, somewhat resembling the true ashes in their foliage.
  • noun See Roman tree, and under Mountain.
  • noun The tough, elastic wood of the ash tree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun countable, uncountable A shade tree of the genus Fraxinus.
  • noun uncountable The wood of this tree.
  • noun The traditional name for the ae ligature (æ), as used in Old English.
  • noun The solid remains of a fire.
  • noun chemistry The nonaqueous remains of a material subjected to any complete oxidation process.
  • noun Fine particles from a volcano, volcanic ash.
  • noun in the plural Human (or animal) remains after cremation.
  • noun figuratively What remains after a catastrophe.
  • verb chemistry To reduce to a residue of ash. See ashing.
  • verb To hit the end off of a burning cigar or cigarette.
  • verb obsolete To cover newly-sown fields of crops with ashes.

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

  • verb convert into ashes
  • noun strong elastic wood of any of various ash trees; used for furniture and tool handles and sporting goods such as baseball bats
  • noun the residue that remains when something is burned
  • noun any of various deciduous pinnate-leaved ornamental or timber trees of the genus Fraxinus


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

Middle English asshe, from Old English æsce; see as- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English asshe, from Old English æsce, from Proto-Germanic *askōn (compare West Frisian jiske, Dutch as, German Asche, Swedish aska), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éHōs (compare Hittite  (ḫašša, "potash, ashes"), Ancient Greek ἄζα (aza, "dry dirt"), Albanian ashkë ("amadou, touchwood, tinder"), Old Armenian աճիւն (ačiwn, "ashes"), Ormuri yānak, Sanskrit आस (āsa, "ashes, dust")), Kurdish ax ("soil") (compare with xwelî ("ash"), cognate with English "soil").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (compare West Frisian esk, Dutch es, German Esche, Danish/Swedish ask), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃osk- (compare Welsh onnen, Latin ornus ("wild mountain ash"), Lithuanian úosis, Russian ясень ("jásen’"), Albanian ah ("beech"), Ancient Greek ὀξύα ("beech"), Old Armenian հացի (hacʿi)).


  • Comparisons: The white ash is apt to be confused with the _black ash_

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  • So I told her how the ash would grow _anywhere_ -- even at the seaside, where all trees lean from the sea -- _except the ash_.

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  • And this ash is the thing, which to my mind, connotes Korea today, not necessarily the hills.

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  • The final result is, however, inevitable, and always the same, viz., the oxidation and escape of the organic mutter, and the concentration of the inorganic matter woven into its composition -- in it, but not of it -- forming what we call the ash of the plant.

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  • It reminded me of this really old children's story, "Hitty: Her First 100 Years" about a little doll carved of mountain ash wood, and no matter what happened to her, she always reminded herself what she was made of, and where she came from.

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  • Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images Paramedics helped a villager who was covered in ash after the eruption of Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano Tuesday.

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