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See more synonyms for incinerate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·cin·er·at·ed, in·cin·er·at·ing.
  1. to burn or reduce to ashes; cremate.
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Origin of incinerate

1545–55; < Medieval Latin incinerātus (past participle of incinerāre) < Latin in- in-2 + ciner- (stem of cinis) ashes + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·cin·er·a·tion, nounun·in·cin·er·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for incinerate

Historical Examples

  • Also, we incinerate our victims—again, with full governmental permission.

    This Crowded Earth

    Robert Bloch

  • To incinerate is to reduce to ashes; the sense differs little from that of cremate, but it is in less popular use.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms

    James Champlin Fernald

  • The soldiers, under the partial protection of the turn, could incinerate the helpless technies with little danger to themselves.

  • The Uaupes in the Amazons incinerate a corpse a month after death, pound up the ashes, and mix them with their fermented drink.

  • Encountering another globe, our sun would doubtless produce so much heat as to incinerate all planetary life.

    Woman and Womanhood

    C. W. Saleeby

British Dictionary definitions for incinerate


  1. to burn up completely; reduce to ashes
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Derived Formsincineration, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin incinerāre, from Latin in- ² + cinis ashes
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 incinerate


1550s, from Medieval Latin incineratus "reduced to ashes," pp. of incinerare, from Latin in- "into" (see in- (2)) + cinis (genitive cineris) "ashes," from PIE root *keni- "dust, ashes" (cf. Greek konis "dust"). Used earlier in English as a past participle adjective meaning "reduced to ashes" (early 15c.). Related: Incinerated; incinerating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper