- the powdery residue of matter that remains after burning.
- Also called volcanic ash. Geology. finely pulverized lava thrown out by a volcano in eruption.
- a light, silvery-gray color.
- deathlike grayness; extreme pallor suggestive of death.
- ruins, especially the residue of something destroyed; remains; vestiges: the ashes of their love; the ashes of the past.
- mortal remains, especially the physical or corporeal body as liable to decay.
- anything, as an act, gesture, speech, or feeling, that is symbolic of penance, regret, remorse, or the like.
Origin of ash1
- 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.
- the tough, straight-grained wood of any of these trees, valued as timber.
- Also æsc. the symbol “æ.”
Origin of ash2
Examples from the Web for ashes
“At one point they were going to perform a burial ceremony with the ashes,” he says.Rage Against the Ebola Crematorium
November 11, 2014
In the not-so-distant future, an independent country, which belongs to Kurds, will rise from these wants, pains, fire and ashes.Dear Turkish PM: It’s Time to Act to Save Kobani’s Kurds
October 8, 2014
Ashes & Fire, a pleasant, folky, water-treading effort, followed in 2011.‘Ryan Adams’ Is No Domestic Bliss Album
September 12, 2014
The Oberhausen aquarium erected a memorial of the psychic octopus with a golden urn containing his ashes.The Amazing Tale of Paul the Psychic Octopus: Germany’s World Cup Soothsayer
July 12, 2014
And Operation Paperclip, born of the ashes of World War II, was the inciting incident in this hall of mirrors.What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis
February 11, 2014
My poor boy, he who is sitting in sackcloth and ashes needs no jester.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
What mattered it that the honey of it was as ashes in her mouth?Within the Law
The Old Map knocked the ashes out of his pipe and went in to look at him.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
He flicked the ashes from his cigar, nursing his knee with the other hand.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
I carried the rod below, to dry it, and covered the lower part with ashes.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- ruins or remains, as after destruction or burningthe city was left in ashes
- the remains of a human body after cremation
- 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
- the nonvolatile products and residue formed when matter is burnt
- any of certain compounds formed by burningSee soda ash
- fine particles of lava thrown out by an erupting volcano
- a light silvery grey colour, often with a brownish tinge
- 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
- the close-grained durable wood of any of these trees, used for tool handles, etc
- any of several trees resembling the ash, such as the mountain ash
- Australian any of several Australian trees resembling the ash, esp of the eucalyptus genus
- 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
- Action on Smoking and Health
Word Origin and History for ashes
"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.
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").