American English

Definition of ash noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] the gray or black powder that is left after something, especially tobacco, wood, or coal, has burned cigarette ash black volcanic ash She flicked ash out of the window carelessly.
  2. 2ashes [plural] what is left after something has been destroyed by burning The town was reduced to ashes in the fighting. the glowing ashes of the campfire (figurative) The party had risen, like a phoenix, from the ashes of electoral disaster. She had seen all her dreams turn to ashes.
  3. 3ashes [plural] the powder that is left after a dead person's body has been cremated (= burned) She wanted her ashes to be scattered at sea.
  4. 4[countable, uncountable] (also ash tree) a forest tree with gray bark see also mountain ash
  5. 5[uncountable] the hard pale wood of the ash tree
  6. 6[countable] (technology) the letter æ, used in Old English, and as a phonetic symbol to represent the vowel sound in cat
  7. Idioms
    wear, put on, etc. sackcloth and ashes
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    to behave in a way that shows that you are sorry for something that you have done