em·​ber ˈem-bər How to pronounce ember (audio)
: a glowing fragment (as of coal) from a fire
especially : one smoldering in ashes
embers plural : the smoldering remains of a fire
embers plural : slowly dying or fading emotions, memories, ideas, or responses still capable of being revived
the embers of his past

Examples of ember in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At one point Richards’ and saxophonist Bobby Keys’ cigarette embers started a fire in a bathroom—a crisis that was averted thanks to large buckets of water. Rachel Desantis, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 One of the ways wildfires spread rapidly through residential areas is by the very high winds that pick up flying embers, which then land on top of houses, explains Flaim. Christine Lennon, Sunset Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 Once the fire reached town, the embers jumped from home to home, quickly outpacing firefighters. Brianna Sacks, Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2023 Walk to the ocean and get a bucket of water to put all the embers out, Eras recommends. Julia Carmel, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2023 Flames gnawed through Butte County’s Feather River Canyon, where menacing winds shot through the slot and sent embers aloft, turning the blaze into a fast-moving firestorm. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 One group held on to wreckage that had fallen in the water; others waded for hours, trying to dodge or douse the embers falling on their heads. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 This year, fires jumped Okanagan Lake — probably two miles clear across open water, individual embers the size of fists giving off enough heat that they were picked up by NASA satellites. David Wallace-Wells, New York Times, 24 Oct. 2023 Ash and embers fly through the air, leaving the bystanders blinking and rubbing their eyes. Mark Orwoll, Travel + Leisure, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English eymere, from Old Norse eimyrja; akin to Old English ǣmerge ashes, Latin urere to burn

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ember was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ember

Cite this Entry

“Ember.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ember. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


em·​ber ˈem-bər How to pronounce ember (audio)
: a glowing piece of coal or wood from a fire
especially : such a piece smoldering in ashes

More from Merriam-Webster on ember

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