[ash] n [ME asshe, fr. OE aesc; akin to OHG ask ash, L ornus mountain ash] (bef. 12c) 1: any of a genus (Fraxinus) of trees of the olive family with pinnate leaves, thin furrowed bark, and gray branchlets
2: the tough elastic wood of an ash 3 [OE aesc, name of the corresponding runic letter]: the ligature ae used in Old English and some phonetic alphabets to represent a low front vowel /a/
ash n, often attrib [ME asshe, fr. OE asce--more at arid] (bef. 12c) 1: something that symbolizes grief, repentance, or humiliation
2. a: the solid residue left when combustible material is thoroughly burned or is oxidized by chemical means b: fine particles of mineral matter from a volcanic vent 3 pl: the remains of the dead human body after cremation or disintegration
4. pl: deathly pallor "the lip of ~es and the cheek of flame --Lord Byron"
5. pl: ruins -- ash.less adj ash vt (1894): to convert into ash