bale·​fire ˈbāl-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce balefire (audio)
: an outdoor fire often used as a signal fire

Word History


Middle English, from Old English bǣlfȳr funeral fire, from bǣl pyre + fȳr fire

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of balefire was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near balefire

Cite this Entry

“Balefire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!