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 On top, make a small tepee-style fire of tinder and kindling. Emily Reed, Outside Online, 14 Apr. 2019 Gookin suggests putting an old tent pole underneath the kindling and blowing into it to stoke the fiames. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 30 July 2014 In Ugyen’s new world, however temporary, electricity is at best haphazard, and the main source of kindling is dried yak dung. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Feb. 2022 The social justice movement quickly spread beyond one man’s death because the kindling was already there. New York Times, 28 Feb. 2022 All the kindling was already stacked, the pandemic was just the spark that lit the fire. Andy O'connor, SPIN, 18 Jan. 2022 Coghlan’s Fire Sticks ($6, two ounces) proved enormously helpful, giving us a long-burning flame that dried out and eventually ignited our kindling. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, 8 June 2019 Light the tinder, and once the sticks catch fire, layer on more kindling, then another tepee of larger logs, keeping the doorways open. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 Sep. 2021 After the Blazers took a 10-0 lead with a DeWayne McBride rushing score and Matt Quinn field goal, Prince added the kindling to set the North Texas defense ablaze. Evan Dudley, al, 19 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of kindling

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for kindling

Time Traveler

The first known use of kindling was circa 1522

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Dictionary Entries Near kindling



kindling temperature

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Statistics for kindling

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kindling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for kindling


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


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