tin·​der | \ ˈtin-dər How to pronounce tinder (audio) \

Definition of tinder

1 : a very flammable substance adaptable for use as kindling
2 : something that serves to incite or inflame that rhetoric was ready tinder for revolution— Margaret Peters

Examples of tinder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This time the tinder was an extradition bill that would allow people accused of crimes in mainland China to be sent there for trial, a power which many worry would be wielded to stifle dissent. The Economist, "Protesters expose a fractured Hong Kong, but China’s grip only tightens," 5 July 2019 Anderson said the car — a black Nissan Altima — caught fire on the northbound off-ramp to Coyote Creek Golf Drive and the flames quickly spread to the nearby tinder-dry brush. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Car fire injures driver, sparks 90-acre blaze," 2 July 2019 Already, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has turned to temporary power shutoffs to make sure its wires don’t send sparks into the ready tinder. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Fearful of being the next Paradise, Grass Valley confronts its fire vulnerability," 30 June 2019 Fireworks are never automatic in Colorado, where drought is a way of life and tinder is seemingly everywhere. John Wenzel, The Know, "Denver fireworks 2019: Your guide to Fourth of July displays in the metro area," 24 June 2019 The next month, the security police astride the Jordanian border in the dusty southern town of Daraa ignited the tinder by torturing children who had scrawled anti-Assad graffiti on walls. Charles Glass, Harper's magazine, "“Tell Me How This Ends”," 10 Feb. 2019 Drought and bug infestation have added to the combustibility of this overgrown tinder. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 The blaze started in the community of Upper Lake in Mendocino County and was fueled by tinder-dry vegetation, strong winds and high temperatures, Cal Fire said in a statement. NBC News, "Hammer spark caused largest wildland fire in California history, investigators say," 7 June 2019 This, as any young or digitally-savvy person would have guessed, was like tinder to a viral flame. Emily Farra, Vogue, "It’s 2019—Why Are We Still Debating the Appropriateness of Leggings?," 29 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tinder.' 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 tinder

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tinder

Middle English, from Old English tynder; akin to Old High German zuntra tinder, Old English tendan to kindle

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Statistics for tinder

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for tinder

The first known use of tinder was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tinder



English Language Learners Definition of tinder

: dry material (such as wood or grass) that burns easily and can be used to start a fire


tin·​der | \ ˈtin-dər How to pronounce tinder (audio) \

Kids Definition of tinder

: material that burns easily and can be used as kindling

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More from Merriam-Webster on tinder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tinder

Spanish Central: Translation of tinder

Nglish: Translation of tinder for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tinder

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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