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[em-ber] /ˈɛm bər/
a small live piece of coal, wood, etc., as in a dying fire.
embers, the smoldering remains of a fire.
before 1000; Middle English eemer, emeri, Old English ǣmerge, ǣmyrie (cognate with Old Norse eimyrja, Old High German eimuria), equivalent to ǣm- (cognate with Old Norse eimr steam) + -erge, -yrie, akin to Old English ys(e)le ember, Latin ūrere to burn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embers
  • Prepare a blazing hardwood fire and let it burn down to embers.
  • If you leave it near the fire too long, or tilt it at the wrong angle, you risk having it slide right into the embers.
  • The embers of the evening's fire are kept burning through the night.
  • They are also handy around the campfire for dousing small embers or fire control.
  • When they had reached the place they found only embers and ashes.
  • Ashes and embers can stay hot for days and ignite combustibles.
  • Protect the home's eaves with stucco or plaster to prevent flying embers from starting a fire.
  • Artificial ashes and embers used in gas-fired fireplaces.
  • Overhangs ignite easily by flying embers and by the heat and fire that get trapped underneath.
  • Keep in mind that strong winds can carry fire embers causing spot fires ahead of the original fire.
British Dictionary definitions for embers


a glowing or smouldering piece of coal or wood, as in a dying fire
the fading remains of a past emotion: the embers of his love
Word Origin
Old English ǣmyrge; related to Old Norse eimyrja ember, eimr smoke, Old High German eimuria ember
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for embers



Old English æmerge "ember," merged with or influenced by Old Norse eimyrja, both from Proto-Germanic *aim-uzjon- "ashes" (cf. Middle Low German emere, Old High German eimuria, German Ammern); a compound from *aima- "ashes" (from PIE root *ai- "to burn;" see edifice) + *uzjo- "to burn" (from PIE root *eus- "to burn;" cf. Latin urere "to burn, singe"). The -b- is intrusive.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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