\ˈflām \

Definition of flame 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the glowing gaseous part of a fire

2a : a state of blazing combustion the car burst into flame

b : a condition or appearance suggesting a flame or burning: such as

(1) : burning zeal or passion

(2) : a strong reddish-orange color

5 : the memory, reputation, or beliefs of a deceased person broadly : memory keeper of the flame

6 : an angry, hostile, or abusive electronic message


flamed; flaming

Definition of flame (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to burn with a flame : blaze

2a : to burst or break out violently or passionately flaming with indignation

b : to send an angry, hostile, or abusive electronic message

3 : to shine brightly : glow color flaming up in her cheeks

transitive verb

1 : to send or convey by means of flame flame a message by signal fires

2 : to treat or affect with flame: such as

a : to sear, sterilize, or destroy by fire

b : flambé

3 : to send an angry, hostile, or abusive electronic message to or about

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Other Words from flame


flamer noun

Synonyms for flame

Synonyms: Noun

beloved, darling, dear, hon, honey, love, squeeze [slang], sweet, sweetheart, sweetie, sweetie pie, truelove

Synonyms: Verb

blaze, burn, combust, glow

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Examples of flame in a Sentence


the flame of a candle We built a fire and roasted marshmallows over the flames. They tried to put out the fire, but the flames grew higher. The engine burst into flame.


A fire flamed in the oven. The sun flamed through the clouds. color flaming in her cheeks
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The two additional fires — the Woolsey Fire and the Hill Fire — in Los Angeles and Ventura County, respectively, also ravaged the community with flames last week. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "California's Fires Lead to School Closings, Poor Air Quality, and Public Service Shutdowns as Death Toll Climbs," 16 Nov. 2018 When a forest is dry as a tinder box, a spark (whether lightning or electrical-line malfunction) or wayward flame can start a blaze. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "What is going on with California’s horrific fires?," 13 Nov. 2018 Also make sure to keep any open flames away from the tree. Brian Clark Howard, Popular Mechanics, "How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh Longer," 22 Oct. 2018 In this alt-classic, Karen O pleads to former flame and Liars frontman Angus Andrew. Nicole Demarco, Harper's BAZAAR, "28 Songs That Probably Aren't on Your Sex Playlist (But Should Be)," 8 Oct. 2018 Two people were killed and dozens more were injured Monday when an explosion sent flames shooting into the sky from a Bologna-area highway overpass, causing a bridge to partially collapse, Italian police and media reported. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Bologna highway explosion leaves 2 dead, up to 70 injured, Italian police say," 2 Oct. 2018 Besides Danny's house being burned, the clip also shows a residence engulfed in flames with Eddie Janko (Vanessa Ray) inside. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The New 'Blue Bloods' Trailer for Season 9 Is Here and It's So Intense," 26 Sep. 2018 The name of the song is appropriate considering Ember Jean's name, which means a small piece of coal that burns even after the fire has no more flames. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "Jeremy and Audrey Roloff Just Posted an Emotional Video for Ember and People Can't Handle It," 12 Sep. 2018 Within minutes, the fire flashed over, filling rooms with flames from floor to ceiling as the temperature approached 1,100 degrees. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That following Sunday, the ex-girlfriend's car on Woodland Drive in LaPlace had been set on fire just after 2 a.m. The gas tank was open and leaking flaming fluid. Hanna Krueger, NOLA.com, "Kenner man accused of setting fire to ex-girlfriend's car, apartment pleads guilty to arson," 16 July 2017 The helicopters detonate in four bright flares and fall to the desert floor in balls of flaming debris. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "What a U.S.-Russian War in Syria Could Look Like," 9 Oct. 2015 Flares light up the sky in southwest Texas’ Reeves County, flames visible for miles as operators there burn more gas than anywhere else in the Permian. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, "In America’s Hottest Drilling Spot, Gas Is Going Up in Smoke," 29 Aug. 2018 That explains why the swatch turned into a flaming tangerine stripe on my chest. Dafra Sanou, Allure, "How to Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade Match When You Have Dark Skin," 18 July 2018 From tumbles of auburn waves to flaming rubicund curls to blown out brunette, the actress carries off each chameleonic moment with an ease that forces onlookers to question whether perhaps this is her natural color. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "This Rising Star Reveals a New Blonde Bombshell Hair Color at Louis Vuitton," 26 Oct. 2018 Israel’s military defends its response to the protests, saying live fire is necessary to defend its borders from explosive devices, flaming kites, rocks thrown at Israeli forces and attempts to breach the border security fence. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Six Palestinians Die in Clashes at Gaza-Israel Border," 28 Sep. 2018 Thousands of Palestinians joined the fourth weekly protest on Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday, some burning tires or flying kites with flaming rags dangling from their tails. Washington Post, "Israel’s Lieberman blames Hamas over Gaza deaths," 21 Apr. 2018 Sip French 75s between a starter of Burgundy escargot and a finale of flaming cotton candy. Sarah Bray, Town & Country, "The Best Bars and Clubs to Meet a Rich Husband," 3 Dec. 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flame.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flame


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for flame


Middle English flaume, flaumbe, from Anglo-French flame (from Latin flamma) & flambe, flamble, from Latin flammula, diminutive of flamma flame; akin to Latin flagrare to burn — more at black

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Statistics for flame

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flame

The first known use of flame was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for flame



English Language Learners Definition of flame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the hot, glowing gas that can be seen when a fire is burning

: a state of burning brightly

: strongly felt emotion



English Language Learners Definition of flame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to burn with a flame : to produce a flame

: to feel or express strong or angry emotion

: to shine brightly


\ˈflām \

Kids Definition of flame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the glowing gas that makes up part of a fire the flame of a candle

2 : a state of burning brightly The sticks burst into flame.

3 : strongly felt emotion


flamed; flaming

Kids Definition of flame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to burn with or as if with a flame a torch flaming

\ˈflām \
flamed; flaming

Medical Definition of flame 

: to cleanse or sterilize by fire

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More from Merriam-Webster on flame

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flame

Spanish Central: Translation of flame

Nglish: Translation of flame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flame for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flame

Comments on flame

What made you want to look up flame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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