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kindle +‎ -ing


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɪnd.lɪŋ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪndlɪŋ


kindling (countable and uncountable, plural kindlings)

  1. Small pieces of wood and twigs used to start a fire.
    Go and collect some kindling.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter III, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      When the flames at last began to flicker and subside, his lids fluttered, then drooped ; but he had lost all reckoning of time when he opened them again to find Miss Erroll in furs kneeling on the hearth and heaping kindling on the coals, and her pretty little Alsatian maid beside her, laying a log across the andirons.
  2. The act by which something is kindled.
    • December 14, 1784, Hester Rogers, letter to the Rev. Mr. Fletcher
      The kindlings of love which had been felt before, now became a flame in every believing soul; and when fallen on our knees, the power of God descended of a truth []

Usage notes[edit]

Kindling refers to the second stage of building a fire: tinder is used to light kindling, which then lights the main fire.

Coordinate terms[edit]




  1. present participle of kindle
    Despite the damp wood, he had no trouble kindling a fire.