AskDefine | Define cinder

Dictionary Definition

cinder n : a fragment of incombustible matter left after a wood or coal or charcoal fire [syn: clinker]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. partially or completely burnt material that results from a fire of coal or wood etc; clinker
  2. slag from a metal furnace

Derived terms



  1. to reduce something to cinders

See also

Extensive Definition

A cinder is a pyroclastic material (lava or magma). Cinders are either intrusive igneous (magma cooled inside the earth) or extrusive igneous (lava cooled outside of the earth). Cinders are similar to pumice, which has so many cavities and is such low-density that it can float on water. Pumice or cinders are used in soap, xeriscaping, mulch, and rock gardens.


The following geologic characteristics define a cinder:
  • Uncemented
  • Vitric
  • Having bubble-like cavities, called vesicles
  • Measuring not less than 2.0 millimeters in at least one dimension
  • Apparent specific gravity between 1.0 and 2.0
Typical cinders are red or black in color.


Cinders have been used on track surfaces and roads to provide additional traction in winter conditions. Cinders are also popularly employed as inorganic mulch in xeriscaping, because of excellent drainage properties and resistance to erosion. In this context, they are referred to frequently with the synonym "lava rock".


Cinder is composed of 80% Group 4A elements, 18% chalcogens, and less than 2% rare earth elements.
cinder in Spanish: Ceniza
cinder in Russian: Гарь

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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