cinder


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

burn to a cinder

1. (of food) To overcook something to the point of charring it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "burn" and "to." I forgot about the bread I'd put in the oven and burned it to a cinder.
2. (of a person) To cause to become severely sunburned. A noun or pronoun can be used between "burn" and "to." If you lay on the beach all day without any sunscreen, you'll get burned to a cinder.
See also: burn, cinder

burned to a cinder

burned very badly. [Very often used figuratively.] I stayed out in the sun too long, and I am burned to a cinder. This toast is burnt to a cinder.
See also: burn, cinder

burn to a cinder

Also, burn to a crisp. Destroy by fire; overcook. For example, If I stay in the sun too long, I'll be burnt to a cinder, or He's an awful cook-dinner was burnt to a crisp. Although both expressions can be used literally, they also function as hyperbole, as in the examples.
See also: burn, cinder

burnt to a cinder (or crisp)

completely burnt through, leaving only the charred remnant.
See also: burnt, cinder

burn something to a ˈcinder/ˈcrisp

cook something for too long or with too much heat, so that it becomes badly burnt: Alan left the potatoes for so long that they were burnt to a crisp.
See also: burn, cinder, crisp, something
References in classic literature ?
The black slave overturned the pan in the middle of the room, and the fish were turned to cinders.
I wondered how my fire would be; the night was cold, and I shuddered at the prospect of a grate full of sparkless cinders.
Their march this day lay among singular hills and knolls of an indurated red earth, resembling brick, about the bases of which were scattered pumice stones and cinders, the whole bearing traces of the action of fire.
Sahib,' sez he, 'there's a reg'mint an' a half av soldiers up at the junction, knockin' red cinders out av ivrything an' ivrybody
Had we burned to cinders aside and apart from the regular track of ships?
When the pile of fagots had been thoroughly consumed, inside and outside, the hole, cleared of the cinders and hot coals, retained a very high temperature.
muttered I, getting up; and, seizing the poker, I dashed it repeatedly into the cinders, and stirred them up with unwonted energy; thus easing my irritation under pretence of mending the fire.
The litter was swept up from the carpet, and the cinders and ashes were taken out of the grate, and the whole of it was in the bucket, when her attention was recalled to the children by hearing one of them cry.
My sole recollection, from the time I fell under the trees until I awoke the following evening, is of my head out of the window, facing the wind caused by the train, cinders striking and burning and blinding me, while I breathed with will.
Once I heard him pause and throw something out of the window with a passionate ejaculation; and in the morning, after they were gone, a keen- bladed clasp-knife was found on the grass-plot below; a razor, likewise, was snapped in two and thrust deep into the cinders of the grate, but partially corroded by the decaying embers.
the White Queen cried out as she rushed past the King, so violently that she knocked him over among the cinders.
Couldn't see 'em fer cinders,' he described it, and the MONICA stuck by me.
It was open to the night; but a part of the staircase still remained, winding upward from a great mound of dust and cinders.
He was a singular man in all respects; he might not have been quite in earnest, but that the short, hard, rapid manner in which he shot out these cinders of principles, as if it were done by mechanical revolvency, seemed irreconcilable with banter.
And having got to do it whether or no, I can't afford to waste my time on groping for nothing in cinders.