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ashes

/ (ˈæʃɪz) /
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pl n
ruins or remains, as after destruction or burningthe city was left in ashes
the remains of a human body after cremation
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British Dictionary definitions for ashes (2 of 2)

Ashes
/ (ˈæʃɪz) /

pl n
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

Word Origin for Ashes

from the mock obituary of English cricket in The Times in 1882 after a great Australian victory at the Oval, in which it was said that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia
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

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