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 for In sackcloth and ashes
From 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.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Specifically: The remains of the human body when burnt, or
        when "returned to dust" by natural decay.
        [1913 Webster]
              Their martyred blood and ashes sow.   --Milton.
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              The coffins were broken open. The ashes were
              scattered to the winds.               --Macaulay.
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     3. The color of ashes; deathlike paleness.
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              The lip of ashes, and the cheek of flame. --Byron.
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     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
        [1913 Webster]

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