burn to a cinder(redirected from burned them to a cinder)
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.
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.