em·​ber | \ ˈem-bər How to pronounce ember (audio) \

Definition of ember

1 : a glowing fragment (as of coal) from a fire especially : one smoldering in ashes
2 embers plural : the smoldering remains of a fire
3 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

Some critics have argued that advances in fire-resistant construction, such as ember-resistant vents, as well as a heightened focus on defensible landscaping, have become an excuse to build in dangerous areas. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California’s not enforcing wildfire-prevention rules for homeowners, leaving tens of thousands of properties vulnerable to big blazes," 7 July 2019 Alkins said the close proximity of the homes and the wind, which helped carry embers to adjacent buildings, contributed to the quick spread of the fire. Lauren Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Investigators seek cause of 9-alarm Dorchester blaze," 16 June 2019 Orange campfire embers smolder along the flat black water of Resurrection Bay as the last bits of midsummer twilight fade from the sky. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Working the night shift: Snagging salmon in Seward," 11 June 2019 However, a smaller subset of supernovas occurs when a white dwarf — the glowing ember left behind when a regular-sized star dies — reignites and rips apart. Yvette Cendes, Discover Magazine, "What Are FRBs? The Discovery of Mysterious Signals From the Cosmos," 7 Feb. 2019 The California law requiring such features as fire-resistant windows and ember-blocking vents applies to homes constructed since 2008, meaning most residences and other structures aren’t compelled to be fire-safe. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 Protecting other paradises For residents in high-risk areas of California, fires are a terrifying reality, with their own vocabulary of defensible space, home-hardening and ember storms. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: The Trump tax change CA Dems actually like," 20 June 2019 The flames are now throwing embers hundreds of feet into the air and across the river. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 About 20 minutes later, the video showed Elmi dumping the hookah’s embers behind several trash cans next to the pavilion. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Charges: Minneapolis man accidentally burned down park pavilion with discarded hookah coals," 5 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ember.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ember

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ember

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

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Statistics for ember

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ember

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

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More Definitions for ember



English Language Learners Definition of ember

: a glowing piece of coal or wood from a fire


em·​ber | \ ˈem-bər How to pronounce ember (audio) \

Kids Definition of ember

: a glowing piece of coal or wood in the ashes from a fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on ember

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ember

Spanish Central: Translation of ember

Nglish: Translation of ember for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ember for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ember

What made you want to look up ember? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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