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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
the embers of a fire (=pieces of wood, coal etc that have almost been completely burned)
▪ He stared at the glowing embers of the fire.
▪ Left alone, Breeze crouched over the dying embers and tried to realize that this was Christmas Eve.
▪ A big bed of embers still gleamed in the kitchen chimney, under an iron pot hung from an ancient crane.
▪ Bethany inhaled deeply and made the embers glow.
▪ He poked at the embers beneath it with a stick.
▪ Ruptured gas lines resulted in fires that gutted entire communities of wooden houses, leaving behind smoldering embers resembling a bomb site.
▪ Some one stood carelessly among the embers, as if having his flesh charred was the least of his worries.
▪ The twins stood over it, stirring the last embers with their feet.
▪ To his horror he realised his hand was lying in the embers.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ember \Em"ber\, n. [OE. emmeres, emeres, AS. ?myrie; akin to Icel. eimyrja, Dan. emmer, MHG. eimere; cf. Icel. eimr vapor, smoke.] A lighted coal, smoldering amid ashes; -- used chiefly in the plural, to signify mingled coals and ashes; the smoldering remains of a fire. ``He rakes hot embers.''

He takes a lighted ember out of the covered vessel.


Ember \Em"ber\, a. [OE. ymber, AS. ymbren, ymbryne, prop., running around, circuit; ymbe around + ryne a running, fr. rinnan to run. See Amb-, and Run.] Making a circuit of the year of the seasons; recurring in each quarter of the year; as, ember fasts.

Ember days (R. C. & Eng. Ch.), days set apart for fasting and prayer in each of the four seasons of the year. The Council of Placentia [A. D. 1095] appointed for ember days the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent, Whitsuntide, the 14th of September, and the 13th of December. The weeks in which these days fall are called ember weeks.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"small, live coal," Old English æmerge "ember," merged with or influenced by Old Norse eimyrja, both from Proto-Germanic *aim-uzjon- "ashes" (cognates: Middle Low German emere, Old High German eimuria, German Ammern); a compound from *aima- "ashes" (from PIE root *ai- (2) "to burn;" see edifice) + *uzjo- "to burn" (from PIE root *eus- "to burn;" source also of Latin urere "to burn, singe"). The -b- is intrusive.


Etymology 1 n. 1 A glowing piece of coal or wood. 2 smolder ash. Etymology 2

a. Making a circuit of the year or the seasons; recurring in each quarter of the year, as certain religious days set apart for fasting and prayer.


n. a hot glowing or smouldering fragment of wood or coal left from a fire [syn: coal]


An ember is a glowing, hot coal made of greatly heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material that remain after, or sometimes precede, a fire. Embers can glow very hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them. They radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been extinguished, and if not taken care of properly can rekindle a fire that is thought to be completely extinguished and can pose a fire hazard. In order to avoid the danger of accidentally spreading a fire, many campers pour water on the embers or cover them in dirt. In comparison, embers can also be used to relight a fire after it has gone out without the need to rebuild the fire - In a conventional fireplace, a fire can easily be relit up to 12 hours after it goes out, provided that there is enough space for air to circulate between the embers and the introduced fuel.

They are often used for cooking, such as in charcoal barbecues. This is because embers radiate a more constant form of heat, as opposed to an open fire which is constantly changing along with the heat it radiates.

An ember is usually formed when a fire has only partially burnt a piece of fuel, and there is still usable chemical energy in that piece of fuel. Often this happens because the usable chemical energy is so deep into the center that air (specifically oxygen) does not reach it, therefore not causing combustion ( carbon-based fuel + O → CO + HO + C + other chemicals involved). It continues to stay hot and does not lose its thermal energy quickly because combustion is still happening at a low level. The small yellow, orange and red lights often seen among the embers are actually combustion. There just is not enough combustion happening at one time to create a flame. Once the embers are completely 'burned through', they are not carbon as is commonly believed (carbon burns, and is not normally left behind), but rather various other oxidized minerals like calcium and phosphorus. At that point they are normally called ashes. See: Wood ash for more on the residue that is left.

Embers play a large role in forest fires. Since embers are typically burnt leaves and thus small and light, they can be blown away by the wind. During a large fire, with the right wind conditions, embers can be blown far ahead of the fire front, starting spot fires several kilometres away. One of the initial stages of defending against a bushfire is dubbed the "ember attack", in which embers will bombard the house, starting small fires in wooden structures.

Ember (disambiguation)

Ember may refer to:

  • Ember, glowing hot coals from carbon-based material
  • Ember days, fasting days within Western Christian churches
  • Ember (film), an upcoming Turkish film
Ember (film)

Ember is Turkish director Zeki Demirkubuz's 11th film and is featured in the International Golden Tulip Competition. Shooting began on February 2015 in various districts of Istanbul, especially Eyüp and Güzeltepe. The Turkish-German co-production stars Taner Birsel, Aslıhan Gürbüz, Caner Cindoruk, İştar Gökseven, Talha Yayıkçı, Dolunay Soysert and Çağlar Çorumlu in the leading roles.

Ember (company)

Ember was an American company based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, which is now owned by Silicon Labs. Ember had a radio development centre in Cambridge, England, and distributors worldwide. It developed ZigBee wireless networking technology that enabled companies involved in energy technologies to help make buildings and homes smarter, consume less energy, and operate more efficiently. The low-power wireless technology can be embedded into a wide variety of devices to be part of a self-organizing mesh network. All Ember products conform to IEEE 802.15.4-2003 standards.

Usage examples of "ember".

Lying there with nothing but the glowing embers in the fireplace to brighten her chamber, she reviewed her encounter with Antonio Thorndyke.

The red ember of Phoenix, otherwise known as Manticore-A II, rested on the horizon, just above the tips of the Old Earth spruces fringing the lawn, and the gleaming gems of at least a dozen orbital platforms moved visibly against the stars.

The backwind had littered the ground with smoldering embers so she had to keep up her shieldscreen.

Maia saw buckets of seawater still being drawn to extinguish embers from the fire that had nearly sent the ship down.

With brass chopsticks the smoker picked an ember from the brazier and relit his pipe.

The tiny flames that were left danced on the coals until the edges of the embers turned red, then red-black as they cooled.

While Danielle ate, Dream Singer fed small sticks of wood to the glowing embers in the stove, then slid the coffeepot over the dancing flames to heat.

In order to find him sufficient occupation nearer home, the Emperor fanned into a flame the smouldering embers of discord between Odovacar and Feletheus, king of the Rugians, the most powerful ruler of those Danubian lands from which the Italian king himself had migrated into Italy.

Bending over, he saw that it was a deerfly lit up like an ember, but frosty green instead of orange.

Mama Efe squatted down near Cassia, poking with a stick into the ashes, searching for embers from the bonfire.

Miraculously the fires had missed two or three Inns but around them was stark emptiness, ash and embers, up to the charred encircling fence and the moat beyond.

And the cook had a firesafe, a good-sized pot in which embers were always smoldering.

Nezzie had produced a small ember from another fireplace, and with it set fire to some fluff from the seedpods of fireweed collected for tinder.

And, after a time, the blaze died to a heap of glowing embers, and the forerunning wind of a northeast storm soughed and whistled about a house deep wrapped in contented slumber, a house no longer divided against itself.

In the center lay the Fuegian fire, its embers covered with a small hide.