- a large fire in the open air; bonfire.
- a signal fire; beacon.
- 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
Related Wordsflare, lantern, radar, rocket, alarm, sign, beam, lamp, watchtower, alert, bonfire, lighthouse, heliograph, pharos, lodestar, balefire, guidepost
Examples from the Web for balefire
A single window in the wing gleamed like a balefire in the rays of the setting sun.Shapes that Haunt the Dusk
Balefire devoured, greediest spirit, those spared not by war out of either folk: their flower was gone.
This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose.
- a bonfire
- a beacon fire
- a funeral pyre
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