1

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

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

  • 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
5

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

  • 2
    Unless they're trying to burn a litter of kittens or rabbits. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 13 '12 at 11:29
3

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.