kin·dling | \ˈkin(d)-liŋ, ˈkin-lən\

Definition of kindling 

: easily combustible material for starting a fire

Examples of kindling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Economic and social factors may have contributed to the kindling — but the explosion in the supply of opioids was a flamethrower. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Americans Turn to Opioids Out of Despair – or Just Because They Were There?," 15 Jan. 2018 And its international policies light the kindling of resistance overseas, from Australia to Ghana. Edward Wong, New York Times, "A Chinese Empire Reborn," 5 Jan. 2018 Hold the kindling in place using a scrap of wood with a roofing nail driven through its end. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "15 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays," 11 Dec. 2017 Kaepernick was the perfect kindling for a reactionary bonfire, the first huge political sports story to come along in the Horowitz era. Ben Mathis-lilley, Slate Magazine, "Fox Sports 1 Is Amazing! Awful! Fantastic! Execrable!," 26 Mar. 2017 In fact, slights are the kindling that once fueled Perez’s PGA Tour career. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Millennials Rule Golf, but Pat Perez Works to Be an Exception," 23 Sep. 2017

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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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 \

Kids Definition of kindling

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


kind·ling | \ˈkin-dliŋ \

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

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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