ashier; ashiest
: covered with or containing ashes
ashy smoke
ashy residue
ashy soil
the ashy remains of the burned building
… the forest opened up into a giant burn scar, with the blackened skeletons of trees stretching down an ashy hillside.Morgan McFall-Johnsen
: suggestive of or resembling ashes (as in color)
ashy grays
an ashy smell/taste
She wore her hair down in long ashy blonde waves that reached her hips.Alyssa K. Davis
especially : very pale (as from fright or illness) : ashen
Symptoms that clinicians should advise their patients to look out for include slowed breathing and skin turning ashy or blue. Maya Yang
African American English : of or relating to the grayish or whitish appearance of very dry skin
used especially to describe this condition in people with a skin pigmentation that is darker than what is typically considered white (see white entry 1 sense 2a)
Ashy skin is caused by a lack of moisture, which leaves your skin dehydrated. It can appear on essentially any part of your skin. It's also common for the skin on your arms, legs, and face to become dehydrated and ashy.Eleesha Lockett
Vaseline has long been a staple in Black medicine cabinets, healing everything from chapped lips to ashy elbows.Angela Johnson
Excessively cleaning my hands could result in dry, cracked skin, but I've been able to prevent them from becoming chapped and ashy with my arsenal of moisturizing hand creams and balms.Jennifer Ford

Examples of ashy in a Sentence

paramedics knew she was in shock because she was ashy and shaking
Recent Examples on the Web Etienne, Ward and Hennings said Williams’ body appeared stiff and his face was ashy and puffy. Journal Sentinel, 20 Mar. 2024 While mineral sunscreens traditionally cast an ashy tone, Dr. Zeichner points out that brands have begun formulating better physical sunscreens to counteract that. Sarah Y. Wu, Glamour, 8 Mar. 2024 Then take a chance with a bold, ashy color like hairstylist Cherin Choi's client. 09 of 18 Face-Framing Ombré This look by hairstylist Jaye Edwards is a stunning example of subtle ombré hair color that starts darkest at the roots and gets progressively lighter at the tips. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 22 Feb. 2024 In a grove of oaks, Sarah Beth Riess, a masseuse from Mendocino County, described her reasons for signing up as Mr. Baird slathered her face in ashy clay. Will Higginbotham Marlena Sloss, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 From another angle, though, the tone is far ashier, almost a dark beige blonde. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 17 Nov. 2023 Our skin may feel less hydrated than normal this time of year– cracking heels, ashy hands, and peeling lips included. Essence, 19 Dec. 2023 With this look, the charcoal brunette is not drastically changed, but is merely softened around the edges with delicate, ashy babylights. Mary Shannon Wells, Southern Living, 13 Dec. 2023 Mushroom blonde is a cool-toned hair color that veers more into neutral and ashy colors, rather than warm and platinum blonde. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 25 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ashy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ashy was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near ashy

Cite this Entry

“Ashy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ashier; ashiest
: of, relating to, or resembling ashes
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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