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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.
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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 Words

flare, lantern, radar, rocket, alarm, sign, beam, lamp, watchtower, alert, bonfire, lighthouse, heliograph, pharos, lodestar, balefire, guidepost

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
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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