• Ash


    • enPR: ăsh, IPA: /æʃ/
    • Rhymes: -æʃ

    Origin 1

    From Middle English asshe, from Old English æsce, from Proto-Germanic *askǭ (compare West Frisian jiske, Dutch as, Low German Asch, German Asche, Danish aske, Swedish aska), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eHs-; see it for cognates.

    Full definition of ash



    (countable and uncountable; plural ashs)
    1. The solid remains of a fire.The audience was more captivated by the growing ash at the end of his cigarette than by his words.Ash from a fireplace can restore minerals to your garden's soil.Ashes from the fire floated over the street.Ash from the fire floated over the street.
    2. (chemistry) The nonaqueous remains of a material subjected to any complete oxidation process.
    3. Fine particles from a volcano, volcanic ash.
    4. (in the plural) Human (or animal) remains after cremation.The urn containing his ashes was eventually removed to a closet.
    5. (figuratively) What remains after a catastrophe.
      • 2010, May 6, Jean-Claude Laguerre, Haiti Will Rise From the Ashes, Now, it's Haiti that needs help to rebuild and rise from the ashes an earthquake.


    1. (chemistry) To reduce to a residue of ash. See ashing.
      • 1919, Harry Gordon, Total Soluble and Insoluble Ash in Leather, published in the Journal of the American Leather Chemists Association, W. K. Alsop and W. A. Fox, eds, volume XIV, number 1, on page 253I dried the extracted leather very slowly on the steam bath ... until the substance was dry enough to ash. ... I think that the discrepancy in the percentages of "total ash" by method No. 2 and No. 6 is due to this excessive heat required to ash the leather ...
      • 1981, Hans Weill, Margaret Turner-Warwick, and Claude Lenfant, eds, Occupational Lung Diseases: Research Approaches and Methods, Lung Biology in Health and disease, volume 18, page 203The inorganic material left after ashing lung tissue specimens not only contains inhaled particles but also very large quantities of inorganic residue derived from the tissue itself.
      • 1989?, Annals of Botany, volume 64, issues 4-6, page 397Ash and silica contents of the plant material were determined by classical gravimetric techniques. Tissue samples were ashed in platinum crucibles at about 500 °C, and the ash was treated repeatedly with 6 N hydrochloric acid to remove other mineral impurities.
      • 2010, S. Suzanne Nielsen, ed, Food Analysis, fourth edition, ISBN 978-1-4419-1477-4, Chapter 12, "Traditional Methods for Mineral Analysis", page 213A 10-g food sample was dried, then ashed, and analyzed for salt (NaCl) content by the Mohr titration method (AgNO3 + Cl → AgCl). The weight of the dried sample was 2g, and the ashed sample weight was 0.5g.
    2. To hit the end off of a burning cigar or cigarette.
    3. (obsolete, mostly used in the past tense) To cover newly-sown fields of crops with ashes.
      • 1847, H., Ashes on Corn.---An Experiment, published in the Genesee Farmer, volume 8, page 281Last spring, after I planted, I took what ashes I have saved during the last year, and put on my corn .... On harvesting I cut up the two rows which were not ashed (or twenty rods of them,) and set them apart from the others in stouts; and then I cut up two rows of the same length, on each side, which had been ashed, ...
      • 1849, in a lettre to James Higgins, published in 1850 in The American Farmer, volume V, number 7, pages 227-8After the corn was planted, upon acre A, I spread broadcast one hundred bushels of lime, (cost $3) and fifty bushels of ashes, (cost $6.) ... The extra crop of the combination over the limed acre or ashed, was paid by the increased crop, ...

    Origin 2

    Middle English asshe, from Old English æsc, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (compare West Frisian esk, Dutch es, German Esche, Danish/Swedish ask), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃osk- (compare Welsh onnen, Latin ornus ("wild mountain ash"), Lithuanian úosis, Russian ясень, Albanian ah ("beech"), Ancient Greek ὀξύα ("beech"), Old Armenian հացի).



    (countable and uncountable; plural ashs)
    1. (countable, uncountable) A shade tree of the genus Fraxinus.The ash trees are dying off due to emerald ash borer.The woods planted in ash will see a different mix of species.
    2. (uncountable) The wood of this tree.
    3. The traditional name for the ae ligature (æ), as used in Old English.



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