In the sentence:

He reached out to put more objects on the fire.

What is a better word for "objects". I was wondering if there is a generic term specifically for something that you burn on a fire. It is not necessarily wood. It is not necessarily fuel either. Think for example of someone who is burning "objects" out of protest or revenge.

I do not even know where to search for such a word. If you can give a resource where I can search for words by meaning, that that would be very helpful too.

  • 3
    Combustibles is the only word that comes to mind.
    – Mick
    Dec 4, 2016 at 22:16
  • 1
    I would stick to "objects" or "things," recognizing that the language quite usefully offers a host of specific entities destined for pyromasy. (probably not a word, but should be) - be they chunks of stovewood, political detritus, condemned heretics, or lumps of ground beef marinated in barbecue sauce.
    – Rob_Ster
    Dec 4, 2016 at 22:20
  • 8
    I think you should reconsider "fuel," or at least find something other than your "protest/revenge" burning as a reason to dismiss it. Each new object added in protest or revenge is "adding fuel to the fire" on at least two levels.
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 4, 2016 at 22:24
  • 3
    I don't see how you can expect the same word to apply to fuel and, say, pieces of iron being prepared by a blacksmith. It simply doesn't make sense to expect the same word to apply.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 4, 2016 at 23:11
  • 3
    Can't you just say He reached out to burn more <objects> (in the fire).? Whatever you are actually burning can go in place of <objects>. Dec 5, 2016 at 14:01

3 Answers 3


Have you considered a modifier for "objects"? Perhaps "sacred objects," "beloved objects," "objects that would get him executed in some parts of the world," "objects that [insert nationality] would fight for," "treasured objects."


Fuel is typically something that you burn in a fire in order to extract energy (heat) from it. Adding fuel to a fire is a common phrase. (Incidentally, the idiomatic expression add fuel to the fire means to "make a bad situation worse", assuming that a fire bad because it is destructive.) A book may not be intended as a source of energy in this case by the burner, but it still works like fuel, so I think the word can still be used.


How about burnable.

Consisting or made of material that is able to be burned or is suitable for burning:

‘It consumed everything that was burnable, leaving behind only molten metal and frames of vehicles.’

‘People put out their trash, always conscientiously divided into burnable and not burnable, in an orderly way at the points indicated on the streets.’ (Oxford Living Dictionaries)


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