The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ashes \Ash"es\, n. pl. [OE. asche, aske, AS. asce, [ae]sce, axe;
akin to OHG. asca, G. asche, D. asch, Icel. & Sw. aska, Dan.
aske, Goth. azgo.]
1. The earthy or mineral particles of combustible substances
remaining after combustion, as of wood or coal.
2. Specifically: The remains of the human body when burnt, or
when "returned to dust" by natural decay.
Their martyred blood and ashes sow. --Milton.
The coffins were broken open. The ashes were
scattered to the winds. --Macaulay.
3. The color of ashes; deathlike paleness.
The lip of ashes, and the cheek of flame. --Byron.
In dust and ashes, In sackcloth and ashes, with humble
expression of grief or repentance; -- from the method of
mourning in Eastern lands.
Volcanic ashes, or Volcanic ash, the loose, earthy
matter, or small fragments of stone or lava, ejected by