ashes


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  1. the powdery residue of matter that remains after burning.
  2. Also called volcanic ash. Geology. finely pulverized lava thrown out by a volcano in eruption.
  3. a light, silvery-gray color.
  4. ashes,
    1. deathlike grayness; extreme pallor suggestive of death.
    2. ruins, especially the residue of something destroyed; remains; vestiges: the ashes of their love; the ashes of the past.
    3. mortal remains, especially the physical or corporeal body as liable to decay.
    4. anything, as an act, gesture, speech, or feeling, that is symbolic of penance, regret, remorse, or the like.

noun

  1. any of various trees of the genus Fraxinus, of the olive family, especially F. excelsior, of Europe and Asia, or F. americana (white ash), of North America, having opposite, pinnate leaves and purplish flowers in small clusters.
  2. the tough, straight-grained wood of any of these trees, valued as timber.
  3. Also æsc. the symbol “æ.”

pl n

  1. ruins or remains, as after destruction or burningthe city was left in ashes
  2. the remains of a human body after cremation

pl n

  1. the Ashes a cremated cricket stump in a pottery urn now preserved at Lord’s. Victory or defeat in test matches between England and Australia is referred to as winning, losing, or retaining the Ashes

noun

  1. the nonvolatile products and residue formed when matter is burnt
  2. any of certain compounds formed by burningSee soda ash
  3. fine particles of lava thrown out by an erupting volcano
  4. a light silvery grey colour, often with a brownish tinge

noun

  1. any oleaceous tree of the genus Fraxinus, esp F. excelsior of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves, clusters of small greenish flowers, and winged seeds
  2. the close-grained durable wood of any of these trees, used for tool handles, etc
  3. any of several trees resembling the ash, such as the mountain ash
  4. Australian any of several Australian trees resembling the ash, esp of the eucalyptus genus

noun

  1. the digraph æ, as in Old English, representing a front vowel approximately like that of the a in Modern English hat. The character is also used to represent this sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet

n acronym for (in Britain)

  1. Action on Smoking and Health
n.1

“powdery remains of fire,” Old English æsce “ash,” from Proto-Germanic *askon (cf. Old Norse and Swedish aska, Old High German asca, German asche, Gothic azgo “ashes”), from PIE root *as- “to burn, glow” (cf. Sanskrit asah “ashes, dust,” Armenian azazem “I dry up,” Greek azein “to dry up, parch,” Latin ardus “parched, dry”). Spanish and Portuguese ascua “red-hot coal” are Germanic loan-words.

Symbol of grief or repentance; hence Ash Wednesday (c.1300), from custom introduced by Pope Gregory the Great of sprinkling ashes on the heads of penitents on the first day of Lent. Ashes meaning “mortal remains of a person” is late 13c., in reference to the ancient custom of cremation.

n.2

type of tree, Old English æsc “ash tree,” also “spear made of ash wood,” from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (cf. Old Norse askr, Old Saxon ask, Middle Dutch esce, German Esche), from PIE root *os- “ash tree” (cf. Armenian haci “ash tree,” Albanian ah “beech,” Greek oxya “beech,” Latin ornus “wild mountain ash,” Russian jasen, Lithuanian uosis “ash”). Ash was the preferred wood for spear-shafts, so Old English æsc sometimes meant “spear” (cf. æsc-here “company armed with spears”).

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