Main definitions of ash in English

: ash1ash2

ash1

noun

  • 1The powdery residue left after the burning of a substance.

    ‘cigarette ash’
    ‘a day's worth of paper burned to ashes’
    • ‘He looked over at her, raising his eyebrow, tapping his cigarette and sending burning ashes into the air.’
    • ‘Everything was burned to ashes, and people were left utterly dazed.’
    • ‘Rubbing cigarette ashes, powdered pumice, or a piece of walnut into spots may also help remove them.’
    • ‘A floor so clean you could sprawl on it without having to coat yourself in spilled booze or cigarette ash.’
    • ‘The most fertile land is in the Pacific coast region, where volcanic ash has fertilized the soil.’
    • ‘Jack's crumpled white shirt was rolled up around his elbows and his black pants were littered with cigarette ash.’
    • ‘This time, he helped save a $20-million building and the immeasurable grief of replacing yet another school burned to ashes.’
    • ‘The landscape here is still a vast area of grey brown covered mostly with volcanic ash, dust and rock (a pumice plain).’
    • ‘Deep growls and explosions thundered through the air as clouds of black volcanic ash coated the surroundings.’
    • ‘The other gods were dusty with what looked like incense ash or vibhuti powder.’
    • ‘Along with natural stone, they often used a form of concrete made from volcanic ash and lime.’
    • ‘They cleaned the huge brass vessels and plates with ash, sand and coconut husk.’
    • ‘A layer of volcanic ash and dust seems to have protected the ice from subliming away, the researcher said.’
    • ‘With his legs finally free, he climbed out of the hole, dropping cigarette ash onto the debris.’
    • ‘The ashes are made by burning palm fronds from the previous year's Palm Sunday and getting 'em blessed by someone with the proper credentials.’
    • ‘In my opinion, the oath should be burned to ashes.’
    • ‘The three African generals sat around a table, tipping cigarette ash into a marble tray and tutting about the revolution going on outside.’
    • ‘Haley took another drag of her cigarette before tapping the ashes into her empty tea cup.’
    • ‘The volcano is active and tourists flock to see the nightly fireworks display of showers of burning ash and flaming boulders and to hear the mountain rumble and roar.’
    cinders, ashes, embers, clinker
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1ashes The remains of something destroyed; ruins.
      ‘the people are really living in the ashes of those traditions and institutions’
    2. 1.2ashes The remains of the human body after cremation or burning.
      ‘his ashes were scattered on a Welsh mountainside’
      • ‘Buddha's ashes were distributed all over the country and Stupas were built for them.’
      • ‘A private ash interment will be held at a later date.’
      • ‘When my mother died, we took her ashes out into the ocean to the same spot where we had scattered my fathers ashes a few years earlier.’
      • ‘After an autopsy, he plans to have his wife's body cremated and her ashes brought to Pennsylvania, where she grew up.’
      • ‘Days later we took Doug's ashes into the mountains, spreading them in view of both Shuksan and Baker.’
      • ‘He is part of the team investigating what is happening to the growing volume of human ashes now removed from crematoria.’
      • ‘Normally, the entire body gets burnt to ashes in one-and-a-half hours.’
      • ‘Only ashes remained, no bodies for him to burn properly to give peace to his parents' souls.’
      • ‘When he was dying, he told his family to spread half of his ashes on the mystic mountains and the lake in China he had called home for so many years.’
      • ‘Two months after the Staff of Energy was destroyed, Will's body was burned into ashes and thrown into the Atlantic Ocean.’
      • ‘It would only be a matter of seconds before the man's body was completely burned, but it would take a while before his entire body would burn to ashes.’
      • ‘Adrienne was cremated and her ashes were scattered about the mountain, taken by the wind.’
      • ‘A funeral director later identified the substance as human ashes.’
      • ‘Many parents choose cremation because they can take their baby's ashes home or distribute them at a location that has some meaning to them.’
      • ‘For eight years Mandy Sutcliffe visited a remembrance garden to pay her respects to her mother, father and sister whose ashes she believed had been scattered on a special family plot.’
      • ‘In fact, if someone is cremated, having died in the mountains or elsewhere, it is far more fitting to scatter the ashes from a mountain top or at a spot beloved of the deceased.’
      • ‘Interment of ashes took place in Ballinrobe cemetery.’
      • ‘Plots can contain the memorial stones and ashes of several generations, each ancestor bearing a new name bestowed by priests for the afterlife.’
      • ‘The method contrasts very sharply with the unpopular cremation, the burning of the remains to ashes, which is accepted even by the Christian church.’
      • ‘Cremation to follow and a private family interment of ashes to take place at a later date.’
    3. 1.3 Powdery material thrown out by a volcano.
      ‘the plains have been showered by volcanic ash’
      • ‘The gas results from a chemical reaction between hydrogen fluoride vapor and the silicate minerals in volcanic ash.’
      • ‘He likes to mix volcanic ash with his homemade pigments to make paint.’
      • ‘Footprints of two friends, probably children, left in volcanic ash more than 325,000 years ago are the oldest ever found.’
      • ‘The volcanic ash produced by the volcano has made the soil in surrounding areas fertile enough for almost any plant to grow.’
      • ‘He said officials expected a large ash plume if the volcano blows.’
      • ‘Interspersed among the river sediments are occasional layers of volcanic ash from ancient eruptions of nearby volcanoes.’
      • ‘Water sources could not be consumed as they were contaminated by sulfur and ash from the volcano, he added.’
      • ‘Volcanoes don't just emit lava; they also spew out hot gas containing lots of little ash and dust particles into the atmosphere.’
      • ‘In a Minoan house they found these whole vases, cracked from the volcanic pumice and ash.’
      • ‘This fine clay, derived from volcanic ash, binds stools.’
      • ‘The minerals in volcanic ash reflect this wavelength particularly well.’
      • ‘The researchers sampled the volcanic ash on both sides of the river that lay above where the fossils were found.’
      • ‘The main point is this: Volcanic ash is a formidable menace and aircrews must take deliberate avoidance measures to escape its effects.’
      • ‘What happened, class, is when the volcano exploded, it threw red-hot ash into the air for miles and miles around.’
      • ‘Some counties are already distributing information to residents on how to protect themselves from ash from the volcano.’
      • ‘In northern Tanzania, a volcano built largely of alkali silicates is currently erupting sodium, calcium, and potassium carbonates as lava and ash.’
      • ‘A huge plume of ash rose from a volcano in eastern Congo yesterday, raising fears it could once again spew lava over a Congolese town it devastated six months ago.’
      • ‘Despite the dangers, people often settle near volcanoes because the soil is periodically fertilized with mineral rich ash and dust.’
      • ‘It can be discounted here because of the absence of clay minerals and organic matter in freshly erupted ash.’
      • ‘No absolute age was calculated for the site because it contains no volcanic ash, the material usually analyzed in such dating.’
      • ‘Scientists say that any eruption could throw up a modest ash plume and also be accompanied by mud flows that would ooze out of the crater's open north end.’
    4. 1.4 The mineral component of an organic substance, as assessed from the residue left after burning.
      ‘coal contains higher levels of ash than premium fuels’
      • ‘The burning cellulose drips and leaves a hard ash.’
      • ‘As in Edgefield, potters at Guadalupe initially used alkaline, or ash, glazes.’
      • ‘The ash contains calcium and phosphorous essential to healthy milk.’
      • ‘Faience is a glass-like material, made by heating a paste consisting of sand or crushed quartz, an alkali such as plant ash, and a glaze, until vitrification occurs.’
      • ‘It combusts perfectly, leaving no residue, no ash.’
      • ‘It mixes manure with recycled materials like cement or lime kiln dust, coal ash from electric power plants, and gypsum.’
      • ‘All the waste is used completely as the small amount of ash residue; which is inert, can be used in by-products.’
      • ‘Grain and hay samples were analyzed for DM, ash, and soluble protein.’
      • ‘Minerals from the ash and the silicon-rich water replaced the trees' organic material and, over the eons, assumed their form as quartz.’
      • ‘Wheat plants grown in limed and nonlimed soil fertilized with poultry ash or potassium phosphate produced similar yields.’
      • ‘They include such materials as soil, sand, rice flour, ash, white cement, charcoal or pigment, rubbed onto paper or canvas.’
      • ‘The ash residue from the burning of hazardous waste is itself highly toxic.’
      • ‘He visited a £32m project to stabilise mines under the town by pumping them full of a mixture of fuel ash and cement.’
      • ‘Banana sap can be used as a dye, and banana ash is used in making soap.’
      • ‘In addition, low quality coals can have a very high ash content which results in problems of residual ash disposal and associated heavy metal leaching.’
      • ‘Fire can also aid bog formation as particles of ash and carbon deposited into the soil profile can reduce drainage and therefore initiate peat growth.’
      • ‘Fly ash is a waste ash produced from burning coal in electric power plants.’
      • ‘Soap was first made by boiling goat fat, water, and ash high in potassium carbonate.’
      • ‘As the brine is pumped out, the mines will be filled with a million tonnes of grout - made from the pulverised fuel ash, salt and cement.’
      • ‘The ash of the fruit and the bark, when boiled in oil, are used in making soaps.’

Phrases

  • (turn to) ashes in one's mouth

    • Become bitterly disappointing or worthless.

      ‘they found words such as “heroic” turn to ashes in their mouths during the scandal’
      • ‘But somewhere in most people's telling of the tale, brave Sir Roger somehow morphs into a sort of bad teddy bear, and Prince David's freedom and joy turn to ashes in his mouth.’
      • ‘May the victory that he has won turn to ashes in his mouth, and may he know sorrow greater than any he has caused to us.’
      • ‘Micki pushed her plate back, the last mouthful of omelet turning to ashes in her mouth.’
      • ‘How quickly those hopeful words turned to ashes in his mouth as barely had the phrase left his lips than Dulwich had found the net for a fifth time.’
  • rise (or emerge) from the ashes

    • Be renewed after destruction.

      ‘Atlanta has risen from the ashes’
      • ‘The company began to sell carpets and rugs direct to customers in the area from its factory shop after it rose from the ashes, and this aspect of the business has become just as important as the commercial side.’
      • ‘It's an organization that rose from the ashes of World War II, a forum for solving conflicts and other global problems.’
      • ‘We have been given what is a rosy picture of a city rising from the ashes.’
      • ‘You will rise from the ashes of your own destruction to become more powerful than ever before.’
      • ‘Following the demise of the team, Zambia, with the assistance of several well-wishers, rose from the ashes to rebuild another team.’
      • ‘At times she looks like she is going to take off into the air like some phoenix rising from the ashes of her harsh life.’
      • ‘Symbolically as the natural ruler of Scorpio, Pluto is the phoenix bird rising from the ashes of his own self destruction.’
      • ‘I suppose it would be a new beginning, rising from the ashes as they say.’
      • ‘Rosshall Academy rose from the ashes of two crumbling secondary schools, one of the first examples of how private finance could breathe new life into state education.’
      • ‘She's been trying to show herself as rising from the ashes.’
      • ‘He is rising from the ashes because of the lack of other options.’
      • ‘An upmarket Leeds restaurant which rose from the ashes of the ill-fated Teatro venture has now collapsed itself, only seven months after opening.’
      • ‘A new 32-room Clayton Grange rose from the ashes and retained parts of the original grey-stone walls from the original building.’

Origin

Old English æsce, aexe, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch as and German Asche.

Pronunciation

ash

/æʃ//aSH/

Main definitions of ash in English

: ash1ash2

ash2

noun

  • 1A tree with silver-gray bark and compound leaves. The ash is widely distributed throughout north temperate regions where it can form forests.

    • ‘In 1980, an old ash tree in Cumbria on which this lichen grew, had to be felled for safety reasons.’
    • ‘The sculpture called Seminal is carved out of an ash tree trunk.’
    • ‘The hazelnut tree is associated with fertility while the ash tree carries with it the notion of barrenness.’
    • ‘It is arguable whether or not the name is referring to the ash tree or the remains of a fire.’
    • ‘The first thing we saw when we hit the woods was an ice-cream sign nailed to an ash tree.’
    • ‘A tall ash tree stood out from the rest of the trees that lined the crumbling brick wall, letters carved deeply into the trunk.’
    • ‘About fifty yards ahead there was a thrush sitting high and singing innocently in an ash tree that overhung the road.’
    • ‘Part of the continuing work was to reduce the size of the ash tree outside my study window, which is drinking too much water from the ground.’
    • ‘Of the most popular timbers maple is the hardest, with ash, beech, oak and cherry following respectively.’
    • ‘The woods most often used for balsamic include chestnut, ash tree, cherry, mulberry, juniper and oak.’
    • ‘Creon stood up and leaned against the ash tree and folded his arms.’
    • ‘The legendary ash tree of Scandinavia, Yggdrasil, forms the basis of Norse mythology.’
    • ‘Root competition from the huge tulip poplars, ashes, and sweet gum trees contributes significantly to the parched soil conditions.’
    • ‘The newly planted trees include oak, ash, Scots pine, yew, birch and alder.’
    • ‘They planted oaks, poplars, cork oaks, pines, chestnuts, candle pines, ashes, willows and many other trees.’
    • ‘Forestry is also important, with a third of the land covered by birch, pine and fir in the north and oak, ash, beech and maple farther south.’
    • ‘Then, I was grasped by my shoulders and shoved against a thick post that had once been an ash tree.’
    • ‘In the topmost branches of a wonderful ash tree nestles a beautiful room with glass walls.’
    • ‘An ash tree produces more and more branches as time passes.’
    • ‘Geo pulled out his great lance, made out of the strongest ash tree and bound in silver and pale green gems.’
    1. 1.1 The hard pale wood of the ash tree.
      • ‘The shaft of long handled tools should be a light wood, such as ash, and should be unpainted and free of knots.’
      • ‘The neatly folded scented bed sheets and the four-poster bed made of ash wood had this annoying elegance, which seems to be mocking at her frustration.’
      • ‘In keeping with the luxuriously modern interior, floors are finished in ash wood throughout, enhancing the feeling of space and light.’
      • ‘Timberyards in the British Isles would have contained indigenous woods like oak, ash, elm, sycamore and beech.’
      • ‘All products are made of three types of wood: ash from the US, beech from Germany and sapele from Africa.’
      • ‘We heard the rhythmic pounding as the spear points were hammered onto shafts of ash wood.’
      • ‘The traditional handle material is northern hardwood - usually ash, sometimes hickory.’
      • ‘It was almost a foot long, made of ash wood with beautiful engravings of seagulls and sailor knots and braided ropes on it.’
      • ‘My favourite woods are yew and ash, but I enjoy working with any wood.’
      • ‘Using thorn, apple and pear woods for heads and ash for the shafts, Philip mastered his craft, revolutionising play with shapes that, literally, broke the mould.’
      • ‘The internal finishes are impressive, with features such as larch, ash, deal and slate floors and hardwood doubleglazed windows.’
      • ‘A pine plotting board and two pairs of dividers in their ash wood case were found nearby.’
      • ‘He uses ash to craft garden chairs, because of the wood's flexibility.’
      • ‘Look for wooden handles made out of ash or hickory wood.’
      • ‘Usually they were made of pine, though occasionally they were made of ash or poplar.’
      • ‘Previous competitions also used poles made out of ash wood which was not flexible, and athletes would sort of climb up the pole as they jumped.’
      • ‘Then there are her unusual wall sculptures made from ash wood, which she says bring a ‘natural presence’ to the home.’
      • ‘The best wooden cutting boards are made from hard woods like oak, ash, and maple.’
      • ‘The kitchen's mahogany, ash, and aluminum are carried into the living room, where they're composed as a painterly fireplace wall.’
      • ‘Alternatively, for a clean, elegant look, go for hand-made hardwood kitchens in pale maple or ash.’
    2. 1.2with modifier Any of a number of unrelated trees with leaves similar to the ash.
      See also mountain ash
      • ‘Brilliant bigtooth maple, velvet ash, and box elder leaves float on mirror-smooth pools and stick to hiking boots.’
  • 2An Old English runic letter, ᚫ, a vowel intermediate between a and e. It is represented in the Roman alphabet by the symbol æ or Æ (see also Æ)

    See also Æ

Origin

Old English æsc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch es and German Esche.

Pronunciation

ash

/æʃ//aSH/