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See also: Ash, äsh, and 'ash


Volcanic ash dunes in Papua New Guinea
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Etymology 1[edit]

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

The rare plural axen is from Middle English axen, axnen, from Old English axan, asċan (ashes) (plural of Old English axe, æsċe (ash)).


ash (countable and uncountable, plural ashes)

  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. (archaic, in the plural) Mortal remains in general.
    Napoleon's ashes are not yet extinguished, and we're breathing in their sparks.
  6. (figuratively) What remains after a catastrophe.
    • 2010 May 6, Jean-Claude Laguerre, “Haiti Will Rise From the Ashes”, in The Epoch Times:
      Now, it's Haiti that needs help to rebuild and rise from the ashes [of an earthquake].
  7. A gray colour, like that of ash.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


ash (third-person singular simple present ashes, present participle ashing, simple past and past participle ashed)

  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 253
      I 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 203
      The 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 397
      Ash 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, Chapter 12, "Traditional Methods for Mineral Analysis", page 213
      A 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. (intransitive) To hit the end off of a burning cigar or cigarette.
  3. (transitive) To hit the end off (a burning cigar or cigarette).
    • 1936, F.J. Thwaites, The Redemption, Sydney: H. John Edwards Publishing, published 1940, page 62:
      "Nonsense," Mrs. Gardiner challenged, ashing her cigarette.
    • 1961, Kenneth Cook, Wake in Fright, published 1988, page ii. 52:
      He realized that he was standing staring at her and he sat down quickly, making a business of ashing his cigarette.
    • 1978, C.J. Koch, The Year of Living Dangerously, published 1986, page 35:
      Hamilton ashed his cigar, and studied the end of it for some moments without speaking.
    • 2000, Zadie Smith, White Teeth, London: Penguin Books, published 2001, →ISBN, page 242:
      ‘He’s right, you know,’ said Archie earnestly, ashing a fag in an empty curry bowl.
  4. (obsolete, mostly used in the passive) To cover newly-sown fields of crops with ashes.
    • 1847, H., Ashes on Corn.---An Experiment, published in the Genesee Farmer, volume 8, page 281
      Last 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 letter to James Higgins, published in 1850 in The American Farmer, volume V, number 7, pages 227-8
      After 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, []

Etymology 2[edit]

An ash tree in Dorset, England

From Middle English asshe, from Old English æsċ, from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (compare West Frisian esk, Dutch es, German Esche, Danish/Norwegian/Swedish ask), from Proto-Indo-European *Heh₃s- (compare Welsh onnen, Latin ornus (wild mountain ash), Lithuanian úosis, Russian я́сень (jásenʹ), Albanian ah (beech), Ancient Greek ὀξύα (oxúa, beech), Old Armenian հացի (hacʻi)).


ash (countable and uncountable, plural ashes)

  1. (countable, uncountable) A shade tree of the genus Fraxinus.
    Synonym: ash tree
    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.
    Alternative forms: æsc, æsh
Derived terms[edit]
Other terms derived from "ash" (the tree)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3[edit]

Transliteration of Persian آش; see the main entry.


ash (uncountable)

  1. Alternative form of aush

See also[edit]



Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of asshe (burnt matter)