verb (used with object), in·cin·er·at·ed, in·cin·er·at·ing.

to burn or reduce to ashes; cremate.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for incineration



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

Word Origin for incinerate

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 incineration

1520s, from Middle French incinération (14c.), from Medieval Latin incinerationem (nominative incineratio), noun of action from past participle stem of incinerare (see 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper