verb (used with object), kin·dled, kin·dling.

to start (a fire); cause (a flame, blaze, etc.) to begin burning.
to set fire to or ignite (fuel or any combustible matter).
to excite; stir up or set going; animate; rouse; inflame: He kindled their hopes of victory.
to light up, illuminate, or make bright: Happiness kindled her eyes.

verb (used without object), kin·dled, kin·dling.

Origin of kindle

1150–1200; Middle English kindlen < Old Norse kynda; compare Old Norse kindill torch, candle
Related formskin·dler, noun

Synonyms for kindle

Synonym study

1–3. Kindle, ignite, inflame literally mean to set something on fire. To kindle is to cause something gradually to begin burning; it is often used figuratively: to kindle logs; to kindle someone's interest. To ignite is to set something on fire with a sudden burst of flame; it too is often used figuratively: to ignite straw; to ignite dangerous hatreds. Inflame is most often used figuratively, meaning to intensify, excite, or rouse: to inflame passions. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kindler

Contemporary Examples of kindler

Historical Examples of kindler

  • A wood-fire on the hearth is a kindler of the domestic virtues.

    Backlog Studies

    Charles Dudley Warner

  • She has not yet developed a taste for the mother's tricks:—the mother, said to have been a kindler.

  • She laughed and talked, and the kindler made a dim light compared to her eyes.

  • It is the air and light to tired souls—builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth.

  • However, great as Murdoch was as a kindler and a teacher, the education of Robert Burns was mainly due to his remarkable father.

British Dictionary definitions for kindler



to set alight or start to burn
to arouse or be arousedthe project kindled his interest
to make or become bright
Derived Formskindler, noun

Word Origin for kindle

C12: from Old Norse kynda, influenced by Old Norse kyndill candle



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Word Origin and History for kindler



c.1200, cundel, "to set fire to, to start on fire," probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse kynda "to kindle, to light a fire," Swedish quindla "kindle," of uncertain origin, + frequentative suffix -le. Figurative use from c.1300. Intransitive sense "to begin to burn, to catch fire" is from c.1400. Related: Kindled; kindling.

Influenced in form, and sometimes in Middle English in sense, with kindel "to give birth" (of animals), "bring forth, produce" (c.1200), from kindel (n.) "offspring of an animal, young one," from Old English gecynd (see kind (n.)) + -el.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper