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[need-fahyuh r] /ˈnidˌfaɪər/
luminescence, as of rotted or decayed wood.
Origin of needfire
First recorded in 1525-35; need + fire Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for needfire
Historical Examples
  • The last time the “needfire” was used in the Keswick neighbourhood, Mr. William Wilson says, was in 1841.

  • The term “needfire” seems to be a corruption of “neatfire,” neat cattle being an old and common term.

  • needfire was then obtained by friction, and all the fires were rekindled from what was regarded as the sacred flame.

  • I never heard of the use of the needfire in the Marsh, though it was, I believe, used on the wolds not many miles off.

    Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. Sir James George Frazer
  • As thou knowest, it seemed to me that I was watching two sparkles from the extinguished needfire wheel.

    The Dove in the Eagle's Nest Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Once a year the needfire was so lighted, and all the hearths of the village were rekindled from the blaze thus obtained.

    Early Britain Grant Allen

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