burn (someone or something) to a cinder

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burn (someone or something) to a cinder

1. To burn something, typically when cooking it, to the extent that it is completely charred and blackened. I forgot about the bread I'd put in the oven and burned it to a cinder.
2. To burn someone severely (typically referring to sunburn). Often used in passive constructions. 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