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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 periodicals archive ?
A general 14-1 for the Cheltenham contest, Cinders And Ashes has failed to sparkle this season in his two runs on heavy ground, but expects his six-year-old to be on top of his game for the Champion on March 12.
This season has not gone so smoothly, with Cinders And Ashes turned over when odds-on for the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle before finishing only fifth in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.
JUST CHAMPION Cinders and Ashes may head straight for Cheltenham, revealed Donald McCain
The loveable Fairy Godmother and, as chorus co-ordinator, responsible for creating some extra magic with a few great tunes and dance routines - including a great transition scene as Cinders turns from rags to riches with the help of some enchanting little fairies, led by eight-year-old Rose Murphy, and some special on-stage pyrotechnics.
Cinders and Ashes and Jason Maguire negotiate the last to win the William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle during day one of the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year
Cinders And Ashes got the showpiece meeting off to a perfect start for the Cholmondeley-based trainer by landing the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle, while the loveable Overturn ran a screamer to finish second in the Champion Hurdle.
The glass slipper left behind after Cinderella's midnight bolt from the ball ensures a happy ending, so the Prince and Cinders celebrate with a delightful series of dances in the palace garden to the music of Sergey Prokofiev.
Also, during the icy weather in December some cinders were thrown onto my drive, so that the car could come up.
The mice, who wandered from set to set, dancing as they moved props, happily escorted Cinders to the palace.
SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Kian Tweedie has been left peering through a hole in his new trampoline after flames from a bonfire sent showers of cinders all over his back garden.
Ellie calls herself and her mother "the live witnesses, cinders saved from the fire, to tell the story.
Different building materials contain suitable aggregates, such as quartz, gravel, crushed stone, bituminous or anthracite cinders, burned clay or shale, and pumice or volcanic scoria, all of which may indicate a particular geographic area.
The wekiu bug, about the size of a grain of rice, is most often found under rocks and cinders where it preys diurnally (during daylight) on insects and even birds that are blown up from lower elevations and have died of exposure.
ONCE UPON A LONG TIME ago the national track and field championships used to be contested in mid-summer on a spit of sand and cinders called Randall's Island, just below the Triborough Bridge in New York City
Tephra ranges in size from volcanic ash (the smallest particles) to cinders (rock fragments) to larger rocks called volcanic bombs.