• synonyms

Greek fire

  1. an incendiary mixture of unknown composition, used in warfare in medieval times by Byzantine Greeks.
  2. any of a group of inflammable mixtures; wildfire.
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Origin of Greek fire

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for greek fire

Historical Examples of greek fire

  • Greek-fire was the precursor of gunpowder; it was the oleum incendiarum of the Romans.

    The Browning Cyclopdia

    Edward Berdoe

British Dictionary definitions for greek fire

Greek fire

  1. a Byzantine weapon employed in naval warfare from 670 ad. It consisted of an unknown mixture that, when wetted, exploded and was projected, burning, from tubes
  2. any of several other inflammable mixtures used in warfare up to the 19th century
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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