[ beyl-fahyuhr ]
See synonyms for balefire on
  1. a large fire in the open air; bonfire.

  2. a signal fire; beacon.

  1. the fire of a funeral pile.

Origin of balefire

1250–1300; Middle English bal(e)fir, equivalent to bale (<Old Norse bāl funeral pyre) + firefire; replacing Old English bǣlfȳr

Words Nearby balefire Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use balefire in a sentence

  • Nay, even such a birth hath Venus of her own, a second Paris, another balefire for Troy towers reborn.'

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

  • 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


/ (ˈbeɪlˌfaɪə) /

  1. a bonfire

  2. a beacon fire

  1. a funeral pyre

Origin of balefire

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