1250–1300; Middle English; see kindle1, -ing1

unkindling, adjective Unabridged


1 [kin-dl]
verb (used with object), kindled, kindling.
to start (a fire); cause (a flame, blaze, etc.) to begin burning.
to set fire to or ignite (fuel or any combustible matter).
to excite; stir up or set going; animate; rouse; inflame: He kindled their hopes of victory.
to light up, illuminate, or make bright: Happiness kindled her eyes.
verb (used without object), kindled, kindling.
to begin to burn, as combustible matter, a light, fire, or flame.
to become aroused or animated.
to become lighted up, bright, or glowing, as the sky at dawn or the eyes with ardor.

1150–1200; Middle English kindlen < Old Norse kynda; compare Old Norse kindill torch, candle

kindler, noun

1–3. fire, light. Kindle, ignite, inflame imply setting something on fire. To kindle is especially to cause something gradually to begin burning; it is often used figuratively: to kindle someone's interest. To ignite is to set something on fire with a sudden burst of flame: to ignite dangerous hatreds. Inflame is now found chiefly in figurative uses, as referring to unnaturally hot, sore, or swollen conditions in the body, or to exciting the mind by strong emotion: The wound was greatly inflamed. 3. arouse, awaken, bestir, incite, stimulate.


2 [kin-dl]
verb (used with object), kindled, kindling.
(of animals, especially rabbits) to bear (young); produce (offspring).
verb (used without object), kindled, kindling.
(of animals, especially rabbits) to give birth, as to a litter.
a litter of kittens, rabbits, etc.

1175–1225; Middle English kindelen, v. use of kindel offspring, young, equivalent to kind- (Old English gecynd offspring; see kind2) + -el -le Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To kindling
World English Dictionary
kindle (ˈkɪndəl)
1.  to set alight or start to burn
2.  to arouse or be aroused: the project kindled his interest
3.  to make or become bright
[C12: from Old Norse kynda, influenced by Old Norse kyndill candle]

kindling (ˈkɪndlɪŋ)
material for starting a fire, such as dry wood, straw, etc

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

c.1200, from O.N. kynda "to kindle," of uncertain origin, + freq. suffix -le. Kindling "material for lighting fire" is from 1513.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Start a fire inside the pit using paper, kindling and a nonoily hardwood such
  as oak or hickory.
The kindling-wood burned beautifully, but when its flames expired there was not
  a sign of fire on the side of the ship.
For example, firefighters will intentionally set sections of forest aflame to
  deprive an approaching wildfire of kindling.
It's about what kind of kindling is there when a spark goes off.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature