[ beyl-fahyuh r ]
/ ˈbeɪlˌfaɪər /


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for balefire

  • This word was the last which the wise old man harbored in heart ere hot death-waves of balefire he chose.

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for balefire

/ (ˈbeɪlˌfaɪə) /

noun archaic

a bonfire
a beacon fire
a funeral pyre

Word Origin for 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