Greek fire


noun

an incendiary mixture of unknown composition, used in warfare in medieval times by Byzantine Greeks.
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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for greek fire

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

British Dictionary definitions for greek fire

Greek fire

noun

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
any of several other inflammable mixtures used in warfare up to the 19th century
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