verb (used with object), kin·dled, kin·dling.

  1. to start (a fire); cause (a flame, blaze, etc.) to begin burning.
  2. to set fire to or ignite (fuel or any combustible matter).
  3. to excite; stir up or set going; animate; rouse; inflame: He kindled their hopes of victory.
  4. to light up, illuminate, or make bright: Happiness kindled her eyes.

verb (used without object), kin·dled, kin·dling.

  1. to begin to burn, as combustible matter, a light, fire, or flame.
  2. to become aroused or animated.
  3. to become lighted up, bright, or glowing, as the sky at dawn or the eyes with ardor.


  1. to set alight or start to burn
  2. to arouse or be arousedthe project kindled his interest
  3. to make or become bright


  1. trademark a portable electronic device for downloading and reading books

c.1200, cundel, “to set fire to, to start on fire,” probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse kynda “to kindle, to light a fire,” Swedish quindla “kindle,” of uncertain origin, + frequentative suffix -le. Figurative use from c.1300. Intransitive sense “to begin to burn, to catch fire” is from c.1400. Related: Kindled; kindling.

Influenced in form, and sometimes in Middle English in sense, with kindel “to give birth” (of animals), “bring forth, produce” (c.1200), from kindel (n.) “offspring of an animal, young one,” from Old English gecynd (see kind (n.)) + -el.

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