• kiln
  • audio pronunciation
  • \KILN\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: an oven, furnace, or heated enclosure used for processing a substance by burning, firing, or drying
  • EXAMPLES

Now that the school has purchased a new kiln, it can offer more courses in ceramics.

"Neither thin nor delicate, clinker brick is the Marlon Brando of masonry: misshapen, blackened in the kiln, historically regarded as trash by brickmakers." — From an article by Christopher Gray in The New York Times, March 10, 2013

  • 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.

Test Your Memory: What is the meaning of "behemoth," our Word of the Day from March 13? The answer is ...

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