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napalm

[ney-pahm]
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noun
  1. a highly incendiary jellylike substance used in fire bombs, flamethrowers, etc.
verb (used with object)
  1. to drop bombs containing napalm on (troops, a city, or the like).

Origin of napalm

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; na(phthene) + palm(itate)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for napalm

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The napalm caught, tongues of flame and roiling, greasy smoke climbed up to the sky.

    Deathworld

    Harry Harrison

  • Clenching the gun in his teeth, the Pyrran clutched a barrel of napalm with his good hand and hurled it over on its side.

    Deathworld

    Harry Harrison

  • Two Pyrrans were rolling out drums of napalm with reckless disregard for their own safety.

    Deathworld

    Harry Harrison

  • Burning wax was hotter than melted lead, and it stuck to anything it touched, worse than napalm.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • The napalm drums were unloaded without his help and the truck vanished for more.

    Deathworld

    Harry Harrison


British Dictionary definitions for napalm

napalm

noun
  1. a thick and highly incendiary liquid, usually consisting of petrol gelled with aluminium soaps, used in firebombs, flame-throwers, etc
verb
  1. (tr) to attack with napalm

Word Origin

C20: from na (phthene) + palm (itate)
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

Word Origin and History for napalm

n.

1942, from na(phthenic) palm(itic) acids, used in manufacture of the chemical that thickens gasoline. The verb is 1950, from the noun. Related: Napalmed; napalming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

napalm in Science

napalm

[nāpäm′]
  1. A firm jelly made by mixing gasoline with aluminum salts (made of fatty acids). It is used in some bombs and in flamethrowers. Napalm was developed during World War II.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.