• synonyms


[fleg-uh-thon, flej-]
  1. Also called Pyriphlegethon. Classical Mythology. a river of fire, one of five rivers surrounding Hades.
  2. (often lowercase) a stream of fire or fiery light.
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Origin of Phlegethon

< Latin < Greek, noun use of phlegéthōn blazing, present participle of phlegéthein to blaze. See phlegm
Related formsPhleg·e·thon·tal, Phleg·e·thon·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phlegethon

Historical Examples

  • A step with them, and we were on the Phlegethon waters of the French Revolution.

    Lord Ormont and his Aminta, Complete

    George Meredith

  • The Styx, the Cocytus, and the Phlegethon present their waves to your acceptance.

    Munster Village

    Mary Hamilton

  • The first round or circlet of the Seventh Circle is filled by Phlegethon.

  • The round and grape passed between the masts of the Phlegethon and beyond the Spiteful, without striking.

  • The guns having been pointed at the stakes, the Phlegethon immediately returned the compliment with rockets and her pivot-guns.

British Dictionary definitions for phlegethon


  1. Greek myth a river of fire in Hades
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Word Origin

C14: from Greek, literally: blazing, from phlegethein to flame, blaze
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