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

About a decade ago, Peter Buchanan-Smith, a Canadian designer living in New York City, found himself in need of a hatchet to make some kindling. Jonny Diamond, Longreads, "Lumbersexuality, a Sport and a Pastime," 8 June 2019 Are Scorpions fearsome dragon-killing machines or just so much kindling? Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "The Game of Thrones Backlash Is Here—And That’s a Good Thing," 15 May 2019 Hold the kindling in place using a scrap of wood with a roofing nail driven through its end. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things to Do Around the House Before the Holidays," 16 Nov. 2018 Hold the kindling in place using a scrap of wood with a roofing nail driven through its end. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things to Do Around the House Before the Holidays," 16 Nov. 2018 But, for me, nothing about a fire is ever consistent—not the tinder or kindling or logs. Ross Mccammon, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire," 30 Nov. 2018 Put it beneath some kindling, and light the whole thing. Nick Meyers, Popular Mechanics, "10 Things This Man Will Be Carrying When He Rescues You From an Avalanche," 3 Mar. 2015 In Davie a few of the Rolling Hills sets were turned into kindling and the first floor of the motel where production offices were set up had been flooded, leaving a plague of earthworms wriggling in the carpets. Chris Nashawaty,, "Inside the Caddyshack Scene That Squashed the Bill Murray-Chevy Chase Beef," 17 Apr. 2018 In drawing, those imperfect drawings make good kindling. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "Not your parents' retirement: Local seniors find new adventures, passions and a second wind," 2 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of kindling

circa 1522, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for kindling

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for kindling

The first known use of kindling was circa 1522

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on kindling

Spanish Central: Translation of kindling

Nglish: Translation of kindling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kindling for Arabic Speakers

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