[ beyl-fahyuh r ]
/ ˈbeɪlˌfaɪər /


a large fire in the open air; bonfire.
a signal fire; beacon.
the fire of a funeral pile.

Nearby words

  1. bale cubic,
  2. balearic islands,
  3. baleboste,
  4. baleen,
  5. baleen whale,
  6. baleful,
  7. balefully,
  8. balenciaga,
  9. balenciaga, cristóbal,
  10. baler

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. 2019

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