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Can I get an explanation of the word kindle in this expression:

the risk of extinguishing the fire... by using too much kindle

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Can you post the source where you found this? That could help us better determine whether this is a spelling error, a mishearing, or a very strange new usage. –  Marthaª Mar 13 '12 at 14:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I believe you've misheard, or the writer has made a spelling error. Kindle is a verb (meaning to start a fire), so does not fit where you have put it. The word that should be there is kindling, which is the material used to start a fire.

So the excerpt should read

the risk of extinguishing the fire... by using too much kindling

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2  
Unless they're trying to burn a litter of kittens or rabbits. –  Matt Эллен Mar 13 '12 at 11:29

Some more context (either the source of the quotation or the preceding and following sentences) would make it easier. But I would hazard a guess that kindle is used for either tinder or kindling, meaning 'small twigs, rotten wood, and similar things', used to turn a spark into a flame and a flame into a fire respectively. Over-enthusiastically adding fuel to a fire before it has properly caught is the best way to put it out.

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