1 [ash]
the powdery residue of matter that remains after burning.
Also called volcanic ash. Geology. finely pulverized lava thrown out by a volcano in eruption.
a light, silvery-gray color.
deathlike grayness; extreme pallor suggestive of death.
ruins, especially the residue of something destroyed; remains; vestiges: the ashes of their love; the ashes of the past.
mortal remains, especially the physical or corporeal body as liable to decay.
anything, as an act, gesture, speech, or feeling, that is symbolic of penance, regret, remorse, or the like.

before 950; Middle English a(i)sshe, Old English asce, æsce; cognate with Frisian esk, Dutch asch, Old Norse, Old High German aska (German Asche), Gothic azgo < Germanic *askōn- (with Goth unexplained); akin to Latin ārēre be dry (see arid), Tocharian ās- get dry, Sanskrit ā́sa- ashes, Hittite hassi on the hearth; < Indo-European *HaHs-

ashiness, noun
ashless, adjective Unabridged


2 [ash]
any of various trees of the genus Fraxinus, of the olive family, especially F. excelsior, of Europe and Asia, or F. americana (white ash) of North America, having opposite, pinnate leaves and purplish flowers in small clusters.
the tough, straight-grained wood of any of these trees, valued as timber.
Also, æsc. the symbol “æ.”

before 900; Middle English asshe, Old English æsc; cognate with Frisian esk, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch asch, Old Saxon, Old High German asc (German Esche, with altered vowel from the adj. derivative eschen, Middle High German eschîn), Old Norse askr; akin to Latin ornus, Welsh onnen, Russian yásenʾ, Czech jasan, Lithuanian úosis, Armenian hatsʰi; Albanian ah beech; < Indo-European *Hoes- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
ashes (ˈæʃɪz)
pl n
1.  ruins or remains, as after destruction or burning: the city was left in ashes
2.  the remains of a human body after cremation

Ashes (ˈæʃɪz)
pl n
the Ashes a cremated cricket stump in a pottery urn now preserved at Lord's. Victory or defeat in test matches between England and Australia is referred to as winning, losing, or retaining the Ashes
[from the mock obituary of English cricket in The Times in 1882 after a great Australian victory at the Oval, in which it was said that the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia]

ash1 (æʃ)
1.  the nonvolatile products and residue formed when matter is burnt
2.  See soda ash any of certain compounds formed by burning
3.  fine particles of lava thrown out by an erupting volcano
4.  a light silvery grey colour, often with a brownish tinge
Related: cinereous
[Old English æsce; related to Old Norse, Old High German aska, Gothic azgō, Latin aridus dry]

ash2 (æʃ)
1.  any oleaceous tree of the genus Fraxinus, esp F. excelsior of Europe and Asia, having compound leaves, clusters of small greenish flowers, and winged seeds
2.  the close-grained durable wood of any of these trees, used for tool handles, etc
3.  any of several trees resembling the ash, such as the mountain ash
4.  (Austral) any of several Australian trees resembling the ash, esp of the eucalyptus genus
[Old English æsc; related to Old Norse askr, Old Saxon, Old High German ask, Lithuanian uosis]

ash3 (æʃ)
the digraph æ, as in Old English, representing a front vowel approximately like that of the a in Modern English hat. The character is also used to represent this sound in the International Phonetic Alphabet

ASH (æʃ)
n acronym for
Action on Smoking and Health

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"powdery remains of fire," O.E. æsce "ash," from P.Gmc. *askon (cf. O.N. aska, O.H.G. asca, Ger. asche, Goth. azgo "ashes"), from PIE base *as- "to burn" (cf. Skt. asah "ashes, dust," Arm. azazem "I dry up," Gk. azein "to dry up, parch"). Symbol of grief or repentance; hence Ash Wednesday (c.1300),
from custom introduced by Pope Gregory the Great of sprinkling ashes on the heads of penitents on the first day of Lent. Meaning "mortal remains of a person" is late 13c., in reference to the ancient custom of cremation.

"tree," O.E. æsc "ash tree," also "spear made of ash wood," from P.Gmc. *askaz, askiz (cf. O.N. askr, O.S. ask, M.Du. esce, Ger. Esche), from PIE base *os- "ash tree" (cf. Arm. haci "ash tree," Alb. ah "beech," Gk. oxya "beech," L. ornus "wild mountain ash," Rus. jasen, Lith. uosis "ash"). Ash
the preferred wood for spear-shafs, so O.E. æsc sometimes meant "spear" (cf. æsc-here "company armed with spears").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services
Additional Sponsors House
  1. Action on Smoking and Health

  2. American Society of Hematology

  3. American Society of Hypertension

  4. asymmetric septal hypertrophy

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Ashes definition

The ashes of a red heifer burned entire (Num. 19:5) when sprinkled on the unclean made them ceremonially clean (Heb. 9:13). To cover the head with ashes was a token of self-abhorrence and humiliation (2 Sam. 13:19; Esther 4:3; Jer. 6:26, etc.). To feed on ashes (Isa. 44:20), means to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory, and hence it denotes the unsatisfactory nature of idol-worship. (Comp. Hos. 12:1).

Ash definition

(Heb. o'ren, "tremulous"), mentioned only Isa. 44:14 (R.V., "fir tree"). It is rendered "pine tree" both in the LXX. and Vulgate versions. There is a tree called by the Arabs _aran_, found still in the valleys of Arabia Petraea, whose leaf resembles that of the mountain ash. This may be the tree meant. Our ash tree is not known in Syria.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the
  ashes are cool.
We could get all of our uranium and thorium from coal ashes and cinders.
It is a gift given to us locked up in the ashes burned out suns.
In some districts a large round cake of oat or barley meal was rolled through
  the ashes.
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