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ashen

1
[ash-uhn]
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adjective
  1. ash-colored; gray.
  2. extremely pale; drained of color; pallid: His face was ashen.
  3. consisting of ashes.
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Origin of ashen

1
Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at ash1, -en2

Synonyms for ashen

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ashen

2
[ash-uh n]
adjective
  1. pertaining to the ash tree or its timber.
  2. made of wood from the ash tree.
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Origin of ashen

2
before 1000; Middle English, Old English; see ash2, -en2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ashen

anemic, blanched, cadaverous, colorless, ghastly, gray, leaden, pale, pallid, pasty, sallow, wan, white

Examples from the Web for ashen

Contemporary Examples of ashen

Historical Examples of ashen

  • Slowly, faintly, the colour crept back into that ashen face.

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

  • From red that she had been, she was now ashen under her rouge.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • She stared at him with an ashen face and gulped twice before she could speak.

  • At noon there was no sunshine, only a wan, ashen light that suffused the sky.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

  • My face must have been ashen, for Sam put a hand on my shoulder.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine


British Dictionary definitions for ashen

ashen

1
adjective
  1. drained of colour; pallid
  2. consisting of or resembling ashes
  3. of a pale greyish colour
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ashen

2
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or made from the ash tree or its timber
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ashen

adj.

"made of ash wood," c.1300; see ash (n.2) + -en (2); meaning "ash-colored, whitish-gray, deadly pale" is 1808, from ash (n.1).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper