verb (1)
kin·​dle | \ ˈkin-dᵊl \
kindled; kindling\ ˈkin(d)-​liŋ , ˈkin-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of kindle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to start (a fire) burning : light using dry twigs to kindle a fire
2a : to stir up : arouse kindle a child's interest in art
b : to bring into being : start
3 : to cause to glow : illuminate animation kindling his pale face— A. J. Cronin

intransitive verb

1 : to catch fire : begin to burn waiting for the fire to kindle
2a : to flare up … their mutual resentment again kindled— Edward Gibbon
b : to become animated no boy will fail to kindle to the struggles of his California youth— Ethna Sheehan
3 : to become illuminated light kindled in the liquor— Frances G. Patton


verb (2)
kindled; kindling

Definition of kindle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: bear sense 3a used especially of a rabbit

intransitive verb

: to bring forth young used especially of a rabbit

Other Words from kindle

Verb (1)

kindler \ ˈkin(d)-​lər , ˈkin-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

First Known Use of kindle

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for kindle

Verb (1)

Middle English, probably modification of Old Norse kynda; akin to Old High German cuntesal fire

Verb (2)

Middle English, from kindle young animal, probably from kinde, noun, kind

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kindle

Statistics for kindle

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kindle

The first known use of kindle was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kindle


kin·​dle | \ ˈkin-dᵊl \
kindled; kindling

Kids Definition of kindle

1 : to set on fire : light
2 : to stir up : excite The trip kindled an interest in travel.
kin·​dle | \ ˈkin-dᵊl \
kindled; kindling

Medical Definition of kindle

: to bring forth young used chiefly of a rabbit

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on kindle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kindle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kindle

Spanish Central: Translation of kindle

Nglish: Translation of kindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kindle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on kindle

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!