Simple Definition of kiln
: an oven or furnace that is used for hardening, burning, or drying something (such as pottery)
Full Definition of kiln
: an oven, furnace, or heated enclosure used for processing a substance by burning, firing, or drying
Did You Know?
Kiln has been a part of the English language for over 1,000 years, its first known use in Old English (as "cyline") dating back to the early 700s. Unlike many words that descend from Old English, however, "kiln" is not ultimately Germanic in origin but was borrowed from Latin culina, meaning "kitchen," an ancestor of the English word culinary. In the 14th century, speakers of Middle English began to drop the "n" at the end of the word, and even to this day some English speakers pronounce "kiln" so that it rhymes with "mill." In fact, like "kiln," "mill" (from Late Latin molina) was originally spelled and pronounced with a terminal "n." Unlike "mill," however, "kiln" has retained the final "n" in spelling, if not always in pronunciation.
Origin of kiln
Middle English kilne, from Old English cyln, from Latin culina kitchen, from coquere to cook — more at cook
First Known Use: before 12th century
KILN Defined for Kids
Definition of kiln for Students
: a furnace or oven in which something (as pottery) is hardened, burned, or dried
Seen and Heard
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