a small live piece of coal, wood, etc., as in a dying fire.
embers, the smoldering remains of a fire.

Origin of ember

before 1000; Middle English eemer, emeri, Old English ǣmerge, ǣmyrie (cognate with Old Norse eimyrja, Old High German eimuria), equivalent to ǣm- (cognate with Old Norse eimr steam) + -erge, -yrie, akin to Old English ys(e)le ember, Latin ūrere to burn
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for ember

cinder, ash, coal, brand, slag

Examples from the Web for ember

Contemporary Examples of ember

  • Fire was actually carried in hollowed out branches in which an ember was placed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Truth About Genesis

    Bruce Feiler

    September 18, 2009

Historical Examples of ember

  • He glows, but dimly, like an ember, with a red and smouldering heat.

  • "In the corner where you put us," Coal and Ember growled with one voice.

  • Prince Ember sprang to his feet, his eyes kindling with eagerness.

    The Shadow Witch

    Gertrude Crownfield

  • “I will not forget your warning,” Prince Ember promised him.

    The Shadow Witch

    Gertrude Crownfield

  • Prince Ember, seeing her silent, guessed nothing of her thoughts.

    The Shadow Witch

    Gertrude Crownfield

British Dictionary definitions for ember



a glowing or smouldering piece of coal or wood, as in a dying fire
the fading remains of a past emotionthe embers of his love

Word Origin for ember

Old English ǣmyrge; related to Old Norse eimyrja ember, eimr smoke, Old High German eimuria ember
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 ember

Old English æmerge "ember," merged with or influenced by Old Norse eimyrja, both from Proto-Germanic *aim-uzjon- "ashes" (cf. Middle Low German emere, Old High German eimuria, German Ammern); a compound from *aima- "ashes" (from PIE root *ai- "to burn;" see edifice) + *uzjo- "to burn" (from PIE root *eus- "to burn;" cf. Latin urere "to burn, singe"). The -b- is intrusive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper