[ fahyuhr-damp ]

  1. a combustible gas consisting chiefly of methane, formed especially in coal mines, and dangerously explosive when mixed with certain proportions of atmospheric air.

  2. the explosive mixture itself.

Origin of firedamp

First recorded in 1670–80; fire + damp

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

How to use firedamp in a sentence

  • An example of a hydrocarbon or compound of carbon and hydrogen, is marsh gas (methane) or firedamp, CH4.

  • As well might the vapours of the swamp be purified by filling it with the firedamp.

  • Mr. Crotchet, jun.—I hope, Mr. firedamp, you will let your friendship carry you a little closer into the jaws of the lion.

    Crotchet Castle | Thomas Love Peacock
  • Next to her is Mr. firedamp, a very absurd person, who thinks that water is the evil principle.

    Crotchet Castle | Thomas Love Peacock
  • Proceeding to the edge of the moat, they fished up Mr. firedamp, who had missed his way back, and tumbled in.

    Crotchet Castle | Thomas Love Peacock

British Dictionary definitions for firedamp


/ (ˈfaɪəˌdæmp) /

  1. a mixture of hydrocarbons, chiefly methane, formed in coal mines. It forms explosive mixtures with air: See also afterdamp

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