(cree.MAYNZ) n. The remains of a person who has been cremated.

Example Citation:
For a few hundred dollars, Rock & Water Creations of Fillmore will deposit the dearly departed in stumps, fake boulders or rocks — even in a sleeping bear or a leaping dolphin. Each hollow monument has a plaque and a discreet pocket to hold the ashes — or cremains — of a loved one.
—David Kelly, "Keeping Memories Distinct," Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2002

Earliest Citation:
For some of the 68 people whose remains are being buried, the funeral is three years late. Michigan State University, nonetheless, is providing burial in a small cemetery for those who donated their bodies to science...The bodies have been cremated at off-campus crematoriums and the remains have been placed in separate urns he said. "The 'cremains' will be buried together."
—Rob Wilson, The Associated Press, September 13, 1977

Also, a reader passes along the following citation from A Dictionary of New English 1963-1972:

Any contact with the idea of dying takes place on a totally unrealistic level, buoyed up by semantic fiddling (the loved one passes into everlasting slumber, reposes in a casket, has his cremains hygienically dissolved, rests for all eternity in a memorial park)....
—Alan Colren, "Booking Office: The High Cost of Leaving," Review of "The American Way of Death" by Jessica Mitford, Punch, October 16, 1963

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