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 This graceful blade, with a classic Scandi grind edge and black traction coating, made quick work of the kindling. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Survival Gear You Want When Things Go Wrong in the Backcountry," 20 Feb. 2020 At Nation Bluff, a ranger had left a crumple of newspaper and dry kindling inside the woodstove. Anchorage Daily News, "A winter journey along the Yukon River," 23 Feb. 2020 The polished blade skated through the baton work, neatly splitting the kindling. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Survival Gear You Want When Things Go Wrong in the Backcountry," 20 Feb. 2020 There is a hammer end for pounding in stakes or driving nails, along with a very sharp cutting edge for fine work, like shaving tinder, and splitting kindling. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "Weird, Off-Beat, and Cool Guns and Gear from SHOT Show 2020," 11 Feb. 2020 The heat wave has provided fresh kindling for the over 200 bush fires that,firefighters were battling across five states, leaving cities even hundreds of miles away, such as Melbourne, enveloped in hazardous smoke. Washington Post, "‘Burnt Christmas tree’ is the perfect symbol for Australia’s fire-ravaged holiday season," 21 Dec. 2019 He was expected to meet Friday at the White House with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose intense public pursuit of the investigations into Trump’s political rivals provided the kindling that helped fuel the impeachment inquiry., "Impeachment charges sent to House, full vote expected next week - The Boston Globe," 15 Dec. 2019 The kindling was laid by the drought that has been ravaging eastern Australia for two years. The Economist, "Unprecedented Australian bushfires stoke a debate about climate change," 16 Nov. 2019 Lower relative humidity causes brush to dry out faster, creating more kindling to burn when a fire starts. CBS News, "Firefighters gain ground in Northern California as winds subside," 31 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of kindling was circa 1522

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Statistics for kindling

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kindling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for kindling


How to pronounce kindling (audio)

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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