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See also: Cinder


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English cinder, sinder, from Old English sinder (cinder, dross, slag, scoria, dross of iron, impurity of metal), from Proto-West Germanic *sindr, from Proto-Germanic *sindrą, *sindraz (dross, cinder, slag), from Proto-Indo-European *sendʰro- (coagulating fluid, liquid slag, scale, cinder). Cognate with Scots sinder (ember, cinder), West Frisian sindel, sintel (cinder, slag), Dutch sintel (cinder, ember, slag), Middle Low German sinder, sinter (cinder, slag), German Sinter (dross of iron, scale), Danish sinder (spark of ignited iron, cinder), Swedish sinder (slag or dross from a forge), Icelandic sindur (scoring), Old Church Slavonic сѧдра (sędra, lime cinder, gypsum). Spelling (c- for s-) influenced by unrelated French cendre (ashes). Doublet of sinter.



cinder (plural cinders)

  1. Partially or mostly burnt material that results from incomplete combustion of coal or wood etc.
    • 1962 June, Cecil J. Allen, “Locomotive Running Past and Present”, in Modern Railways, page 399:
      Travellers over the London & North Western main line in bygone days will need no reminder of the pattering of cinders on the carriage roofs, the fountains of sparks from the chimneys at night and the distance from which the exhaust of approaching locomotives could be heard, due to the fierceness of their blast in such conditions.
  2. An ember.
  3. Slag from a metal furnace.
  4. (dated, colloquial) Any strong stimulant added to tea, soda water, etc.
    • 1846, Catherine Grace Frances Gore, Selected Works, volume 2, page 9:
      Oh, horrid proposition! One would imagine, Tom, that you had been a coal-heaver. Had you said soda and cinder, I would have seconded the motion.
    • 2021, Glenda Young, The Miner's Lass:
      She'd sit by the fire, arms crossed, demanding that Ruby spike her tea with a cinder. But Ruby would never give in to her demands, no matter how much her mam begged. There was no alcohol in the house now; Arthur had made sure of that in an effort to get Mary sober.

Derived terms[edit]


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cinder (third-person singular simple present cinders, present participle cindering, simple past and past participle cindered)

  1. (transitive) To reduce to cinders.
  2. (transitive) To cover with cinders.
    We plan to cinder this path.


See also[edit]