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

After the fire was knocked down, Gardner fire said, firefighters removed several portions of the sides of the rail car to extinguish any remaining embers. BostonGlobe.com, "A two-alarm fire on a freight train in Gardner damaged several new vehicles early Tuesday but caused no injuries, according to the Gardner Fire Department.," 11 Sep. 2019 Officials say a plan put in place after 2008 to evacuate Paradise in phases to better control traffic flows didn’t work well because embers sparked hundreds of spot fires across the town, forcing evacuation orders to be issued in rapid succession. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "California Rethinks Firefighting Tactics, Evacuation Routes for Future Wildfires," 30 Nov. 2018 Though seemingly scattered, firefighters and inmate crews maintained the burn zone and continued cleanup efforts to remove dangerous trees and smoldering embers. Jake Hutchison, The Mercury News, "Evacuation warnings for NorCal Swedes Fire lifted; containment up to 40 percent," 10 Sep. 2019 Gale-force winds flamed embers that descended on the foothill town of Paradise and created a storm of fire that claimed 86 lives and an estimated 14,000 homes. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "Paradise High returns to the football field, providing a devastated town with hope," 22 Aug. 2019 The political firestorm that preceded Rosselló's historic resignation saw its embers in a series of scandals that included the recent disclosure of crude, sexist and homophobic chat messages between the governor and members of his inner circle. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "The sudden downfall of one of Puerto Rico's most powerful political dynasties," 2 Aug. 2019 Thin layers of metal screen stretched across vents can keep embers from penetrating a combustible attic. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "As wildfire risk grows west of Cascades, homeowners urged to better protect their homes," 30 July 2019 Flames in the canyon bottom create a convection oven, carrying fire uphill and over ridgetops, spewing hot embers a mile or more into other neighborhoods. AZCentral.com, "Amid winding mountain roads, a village pushes back its encroaching fire threat," 23 July 2019 Walk through the bar and order your pizzas in the back parking lot; the flames and embers inside the tiled oven that Swemle built himself (and hauls on a trailer) ignite the night sky. Bill Addison, latimes.com, "6 great pizza places in Los Angeles," 13 July 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

9 Oct 2019

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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 wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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