kin·​dling | \ ˈkin(d)-liŋ How to pronounce kindling (audio) , ˈkin-lən \

Definition of kindling

: easily combustible material for starting a fire

Examples of kindling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first is that the kindling of the riots is partly due to the fact that the historic Good Friday Agreement has not been accompanied by an ambitious Marshall style plan for the north that could have remade its society and economy. Mike O'sullivan, Forbes, "What’s Behind The Violence In Northern Ireland?," 11 Apr. 2021 To the defense, Floyd’s memory is like dry kindling, ready to fuel another round of global protests demanding racial justice. Washington Post, "Justice by the numbers," 29 Mar. 2021 Firewood needs to be chopped, tent stakes need to be pounded into the ground, and small branches need to be turned into kindling and fuel for the fire. Outdoor Life, "Best Hatchets for Camping, Wood Splitting, Survival, and More," 23 Feb. 2021 Donald Trump for months and months assembled the tinder, the kindling threw on logs for fuel to have his supporters believe that the only way their victory would be lost was if it was stolen. New York Times, "House Lays Out Case Against Trump, Branding Him the ‘Inciter in Chief’," 10 Feb. 2021 Tinder is the dry, fine, easily shreddable material that catches a spark or a match’s meager flame and burns quickly, with tall flames, to light the larger kindling. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "10 Ways to Screw Up a Campfire (and How to Fix Them)," 28 Dec. 2020 Investigators said the fire started in the chimney and spread to a nearby significant pile of wood and kindling. Christine Mui,, "Deadly Sheffield fire ruled accidental, officials say," 15 Jan. 2021 The edge of the blade is extremely sharp and suited for cutting kindling, notching logs, or other tasks, and the hammer head can drive tent stakes into the toughest ground. Ben Romans, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Camping Gear Gift Guide," 26 Nov. 2020 What had filled our heads in my generation’s first grade was the kindling, fuel, and matches for the moral and political conflagration that followed on that grandeur’s being debunked—the conflagration that burns hotter now than ever. James Carroll, The New Yorker, "What the Era of Trump and the Coronavirus May Teach America’s Children," 21 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of kindling

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kindling

Time Traveler for kindling

Time Traveler

The first known use of kindling was circa 1522

See more words from the same year

Statistics for kindling

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kindling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kindling



English Language Learners Definition of kindling

: dry twigs, pieces of paper, etc., that burn easily and are used to start a fire


kin·​dling | \ ˈkind-liŋ How to pronounce kindling (audio) \

Kids Definition of kindling

: material that burns easily and is used for starting a fire


kind·​ling | \ ˈkin-dliŋ How to pronounce kindling (audio) \

Medical Definition of kindling

: the electrophysiological changes that occur in the brain as a result of repeated intermittent exposure to a subthreshold electrical or chemical stimulus (as one causing seizures) so that there develops a usually permanent decrease in the threshold of excitability

Comments on kindling

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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