• synonyms


  1. (formerly) a slow-burning fuse used for firing rockets and fireworks and, in mining, for igniting explosives
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Word Origin

C17: from French porte-feu, from porter to carry + feu fire
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

Examples from the Web for portfire

Historical Examples

  • Shortly after this signal of portfire they sent up a rocket from the barque.

    My Danish Sweetheart., Volume 1 of 3

    William Clark Russell

  • There were rockets, and portfire, and a huge bonfire, while the President was serenaded.

    The Lincoln Story Book

    Henry L. Williams

  • He snatched the portfire from the sergeant and went toward the gun.

    The Adventures of Akbar

    Flora Annie Steel

  • Some were ignited by mechanical action and others by match or portfire.

  • Carmichael took the portfire and had just lighted the fuse, when he received a mortal wound.

    Barclay of the Guides

    Herbert Strang