cinder

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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 ?
They could hear him at his peculiar trot, crushing the loose cinders as he went.
You cannot imagine in what a mere twinkling of an eye their hot breath shrivels a young man into a black cinder.
But Jason had set his heart steadfastly on getting the Golden Fleece; and I positively doubt whether he would have gone back without it, even had he been certain of finding himself turned into a red-hot cinder, or a handful of white ashes, the instant he made a step farther.
Greatly encouraged at finding himself not yet turned into a cinder, the young man awaited the attack of the bulls.
I hope you have been considering the matter a little more wisely, and have concluded not to get yourself scorched to a cinder, in attempting to tame my brazen-lunged bulls.
Had you acted fairly, you would have been, at this instant, a black cinder, or a handful of white ashes.
Adam would sometimes get up and tread backwards and forwards along the short space from wall to wall; then he would sit down and hide his face, and no sound would be heard but the ticking of the watch on the table, or the falling of a cinder from the fire which the schoolmaster carefully tended.
those still more hideous nights when we sit by another in pain, when the low fire startles us every now and then with a falling cinder, and the tick of the clock seems a hammer beating out the life that we are watching.
While hovering near an altar, on which some villagers were sacrificing a goat, she suddenly seized a piece of the flesh, and carried it, along with a burning cinder, to her nest.
There was hair upon the end, which blazed and shrunk into a light cinder, and, caught by the air, whirled up the chimney.
Of course, Cinders will change all that, which is a pity because the film spends far too much time on social lecturing.
Because but for the grace of God and a small miracle of modern technology, the church might be in cinders today.
BARGAIN BUY Cinders And Ashes It won't be long until Cinders And Ashes recoups the pounds 4,500 it took trainer Donald McCain to secure him as a two-year-old from Juddmonte Farms at last year's DBS Lincoln Handicap Sales.
When Cinders arrives at the ball in a sparkling silver carriage and the moon rises over the prince's mansion you can see why the Royal Ballet's sumptuous production cost more than a million pounds.
Foremost among them now is Cinders And Ashes, who took the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle in the style of a budding champion.