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

  • noun Easily ignited material, such as dry sticks of wood, used to start a fire.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A brood or litter.
  • noun The bringing forth of young: applied by English fanciers to rabbits.
  • noun The act of causing to burn; setting on fire.
  • noun Material, usually dry wood cut into small pieces, for starting a fire: as, put some kindling in the stove: most commonly in the plural.

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

  • noun The act of causing to burn, or of exciting or inflaming the passions.
  • noun Materials, easily lighted, for starting a fire, such as small twigs or paper; -- also used in the pl..

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

  • noun small pieces of wood and twigs used to start a fire.
  • verb Present participle of kindle.

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

  • noun material for starting a fire
  • noun the act of setting something on fire


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • This pleasure either the young men copied from the older ones or the older ones always kept. The grown people, like the children, looked with kindling eyes at all turmoil, expecting delight for themselves and for you.

    --Eudora Welty, 1946, Delta Wedding

    December 11, 2010