Definition of ash noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//æʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//æʃ//
    Plants, Death
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  1. 1[uncountable] the grey or black powder that is left after something, especially tobacco, wood or coal, has burnt 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. Wordfinderashes, cemetery, coffin, cremation, die, funeral, grave, hearse, morgue, mourn See related entries: Death
  4. 4 [countable, uncountable] (also ash tree) a forest tree with grey bark see also mountain ash See related entries: Plants
  5. 5 [uncountable] the hard pale wood of the ash tree
  6. 6(specialist) the letter æ, used in Old English, and as a phonetic symbol to represent the vowel sound in cat
  7. Word Originsenses 1 to 3 Old English æsce, aexe, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch as and German Asche.senses 4 to 5 Old English æsc, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch es and German Esche.Extra examples All her dreams had turned to ashes. Ash from the volcano fell over a wide area. Fine ash covered the hill near the volcano. He flicked ash into the ashtray. His ashes were scattered on his beloved farm. The fire had died to cold ashes. The party had risen from the ashes of electoral disaster. a town reduced to ashes by war the glowing ashes of the dying fireIdioms
    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