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balefire

[beyl-fahyuh r]
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noun
  1. a large fire in the open air; bonfire.
  2. a signal fire; beacon.
  3. the fire of a funeral pile.

Origin of balefire

1250–1300; Middle English bal(e)fir, equivalent to bale (< Old Norse bāl funeral pyre) + fire fire; replacing Old English bǣlfȳr
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for balefire

Historical Examples

  • A single window in the wing gleamed like a balefire in the rays of the setting sun.

    Shapes that Haunt the Dusk

    Various

  • Balefire devoured, greediest spirit, those spared not by war out of either folk: their flower was gone.

    Beowulf

    Anonymous

  • This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose.

    Beowulf

    Anonymous


British Dictionary definitions for balefire

balefire

noun archaic
  1. a bonfire
  2. a beacon fire
  3. a funeral pyre

Word Origin

C14 bale, from Old English bǣl pyre; related to Old Norse bāl flame, pyre, Sanskrit bhāla brightness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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