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  • IPA(key): /ˈkɪn.dəl/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪndəl

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English kindlen, from Old Norse kynda (to inflame), from Proto-Germanic *kundijaną.


kindle (third-person singular simple present kindles, present participle kindling, simple past and past participle kindled)

  1. (transitive) To start (a fire) or light (a torch, a match, coals, etc.).
    • 1841, Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, page 336:
      If a person kindle a fire in the house of another person, let him pay for the house to the owner, if it be burned.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, chapter 4, in Moonfleet, London, Toronto, Ont.: Jonathan Cape, published 1934:
      And then it was that I first perceived the danger in which I stood; for there was no hope of kindling a light, and I doubted now whether even in the light I could ever have done much to dislodge the great slab of slate.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To arouse or inspire (a passion, etc).
    He kindled an enthusiasm for the project in his fellow workers.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XIX, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 159:
      Let the young perish in their hour of promise—how much will they be spared!—passion, that kindles but to consume the heart, and leaves either vacancy or regret, a ruin or a desert;...
    • 2013, Peter Lancaster Brown, Megaliths, Myths and Men: An Introduction to Astro-Archaeology, page 111:
      The unfinished argument which had been smouldering dormantly like some quiescent volcano since Lockyer's day — suddenly boiled over in print. Hawkins' article in Nature kindled response from all quarters.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To begin to grow or take hold.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English kyndel, from kynde +‎ -el. The verb is derived from the noun form by conversion.


kindle (plural kindles)

  1. (rare, collective) A group of kittens.
    A kindle of kittens.


kindle (third-person singular simple present kindles, present participle kindling, simple past and past participle kindled)

  1. (intransitive, of a rabbit or hare) To bring forth young; to give birth.


in kindle (not comparable)

  1. (of an animal) pregnant