Molotov cocktail


Mo·​lo·​tov cocktail ˈmä-lə-ˌtȯf- How to pronounce Molotov cocktail (audio)
: a crude bomb made of a bottle filled with a flammable liquid (such as gasoline) and usually fitted with a wick (such as a saturated rag) that is ignited just before the bottle is hurled

Examples of Molotov cocktail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Protesters reached the front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home in Jerusalem, and Israeli police say a Molotov cocktail was thrown. NBC News, 4 Apr. 2024 As of Saturday, Russia had filed at least 15 criminal cases after people poured dye in ballot boxes, started fires or lobbed Molotov cocktails at polling stations. Christian Edwards, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024 The police spokesperson said individuals on Tuesday night also threw Molotov cocktails and fired fireworks directly at security forces. Abeer Salman, CNN, 12 Mar. 2024 Gangs threw Molotov cocktails at the interior ministry headquarters and fired gunshots at the presidential palace. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2024 The rounds were blanks, the Molotov cocktail wasn’t lit, the smoke came from a machine. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in the capital and in similar protests in Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city, where riot police fired tear gas and stun grenades to repel demonstrators throwing paint, stones and Molotov cocktails. Derek Gatopoulos and Costas Kantouris, Quartz, 28 Feb. 2024 Some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and set off fireworks, the police said. Rick Rojas, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2024 Batten helped and conspired with Brannon to firebomb the clinic with a Molotov cocktail from February through March 13, 2022, according to his plea agreement. City News Service, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Molotov cocktail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Vyacheslav M. Molotov

First Known Use

1940, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Molotov cocktail was in 1940

Dictionary Entries Near Molotov cocktail

Cite this Entry

“Molotov cocktail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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