Definitions

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

  • n.pl. The ashes that remain after cremation of a corpse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cremated remains of a deceased person.

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

  • n. the remains of a dead body after cremation

Etymologies

Blend of cremated, past participle of cremate and remains.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of cremated and remains. Apparently a euphemism used by undertakers. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I am writing to you to object to the word cremains, which was used by your representative when he met with my mother and me two days after my father's death.

    NPR Topics: News

  • In fact, my father himself, who was a professor of English and is now being called the cremains, would have pointed out to you the alliteration in Porta Potti and the rhyme in pooper-scooper.

    New York Review: The Collected Stories Of Lydia Davis

  • Seriously, a company call Lifetime, I think in Illinois, that takes the carbon from cremains, which is the lingo for "cremated remains," and turns them into actual diamonds that people are wearing as jewelry.

    CNN Transcript Jul 5, 2003

  • Disposing or storing of the ashes, called cremains, has become a more creative exercise as well.

    LJWorld.com stories: News

  • Attorney Neal Gordon -- the trustee assign to resolve the debts of the family-owned business that started in 1920 -- said finding the cremains was a surprise and unsettling.

    ajc.com - News

  • In fact, my father himself, who was a professor of English and is now being called the cremains, would have pointed out to you the alliteration in

    NPR Topics: News

  • Unbelievably, the term "cremains" is the preferred nomenclature of the Cremation Association of North America (I looked this up).

    New York Review: The Collected Stories Of Lydia Davis

  • The "cremains," in lipstick-size capsules, are on a rocket launched from a Lockheed L-1011 airplane over Grand Canary Island.

    Ashes Away

  • Then she discovered Art From Ashes, a Web company that incorporates a teaspoon of pet or human "cremains" into luminous artwork.

    Thinking Outside The Urn

  • The cost: $12 500 for the full "cremains," or up to three kilos of ashes.

    More and More People Want to be Stardust Memories | Impact Lab

Comments

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  • I once did bench-work for a silversmith who made silver and gold amulets for just that purpose. A one-off creation - the cremains were his neice's and the amulets were to go to her dearest friends. Killed in a car accident at age 16.

    November 17, 2011

  • On a long train trip through Russia we stopped at a lonely village station. Late, 2am maybe. Still, because it was a junction there was a 20-minute stop and the train soon filled with locals selling their wares. Or should I say ware: cranberries. In buckets, in tubs, in glass jars. Just plain fresh cranberries. It was sadly indicative of the lack of diversity in the village economy, not to mention the desperation of the times; surely, as I observed, there's little chance of selling buckets o' berries to sleepy drunks on the night train. Even now looking at a map I can't identify precisely which town it was. Anyway travel companion Marloes and I were happy calling it Craningrad.

    June 9, 2011

  • Speaking of cranberries, they seem to me to be the DSK of the orchard. One imagines the scenes of dismay down in Fruitville when the cranberries move into the neighborhood, with each of the other fruits nervously anticipating the inevitable rape scenario under which they will be forced to submit to the voracious sexual appetites of some marauding band of cranberries, to produce, in due course, some appalling bastard hybrid, the juice of which will inevitably end up taking up space on our supermarket shelves.

    Ask any apple or raisin. They can tell you what it's like. Grapes and peaches too. It's like post-war Berlin down in the fruit groves, I tell you. Nobody is safe from the rapacious cranberry clan.

    June 8, 2011

  • Words are inadequate to capture my deep loathing for this word. Of the many atrocities perpetrated against the English language on a daily basis, this surely has to be one of the worst.

    And while it may have been coined before the cranberry growers of America launched their shameless attempt to annex each of the other fruits, one by one, by deploying the prefix 'cr' or 'cran' (cranapple, craisins), now that 'craisins' scream at us from supermarket shelves across the land, no thinking human being should stoop to using the word 'cremains' ever again. Do you really want to create the indelible impression that your loved one's remains could be consumed as a zesty relish with your thanksgiving dinner?

    Thank you for indulging my rant.

    February 25, 2007