: an oven, furnace, or heated enclosure used for processing a substance by burning, firing, or drying
kiln transitive verb

Did you know?

The word kiln was kindled in Old English as a bundle of c-y-l-n. 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, which has been a menu option in English since the 17th century. An ingredient in culina is coquere, meaning "to cook" in Latin.

Examples of kiln in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One option is to continue the practice of burning plastic as fuel for cement kilns. Lisa Song, ProPublica, 19 Sep. 2023 The resulting remains are sold to cement companies, offering an alternative fuel source for their kilns and reducing their carbon emissions by nearly 30%. Ben Tracy, CBS News, 1 May 2023 Typically, clinker is made by heating limestone and clay in a rotating kiln to temperatures above 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Yusuf Khan, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2023 Masumoto’s works are Shigaraki ceramics, a style in which pottery is placed in the kiln unglazed as fire burns designs onto its surface. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Aug. 2023 Other practices like crop burning, which many farmers use to clear their fields for harvest, and the use of brick kilns have also contributed to rising pollution. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 30 Aug. 2023 These are the first full-scale Shigaraki ceramics she’s created using a wood-fire kiln. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Aug. 2023 More emissions come from cooling the kilns and transporting the cement. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, 14 June 2023 The electric kilns can more reliably reach the higher temperatures — around 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit — necessary to fire food-safe glazes. Chantel Tattoli Marko Risovic, New York Times, 30 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kiln.' 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 kilne, from Old English cyln, from Latin culina kitchen, from coquere to cook — more at cook

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kiln was before the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near kiln

Cite this Entry

“Kiln.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kiln. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an oven or furnace for hardening, burning, or drying something
brick kilns
kiln verb

More from Merriam-Webster on kiln

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