in·​fer·​no | \ in-ˈfər-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce inferno (audio) \
plural infernos

Definition of inferno

: a place or a state that resembles or suggests hell the inferno of war also : an intense fire : conflagration a raging inferno

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Examples of inferno in a Sentence

By the time help arrived, the fire had grown to a raging inferno. the intense heat of the raging inferno repeatedly drove back the firefighters
Recent Examples on the Web Wind gusts could scatter embers from the 51,266-acre inferno, creating spot fires to the south in parts of Napa and Sonoma counties. Nora Mishanec,, "Tension mounts as forecasts show powerful winds pummeling region near Glass Fire," 1 Oct. 2020 There have been no reports of deaths or injuries, though two firefighters were forced to take cover in fire shelters while battling the inferno Sunday. NBC News, "More wildfire evacuations ordered as Northern California braces for powerful winds," 1 Oct. 2020 Officials fear the Zogg Fire, which has burned through 55,303 acres near Redding and left four people dead, could merge with a third blaze, the August Complex, into a mega-inferno of more than 1 million acres. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "Firefighters fear a mega-inferno is on the way," 1 Oct. 2020 Making matters worse, several aircraft remained grounded at the start of the inferno. Tatiana Pollastri And David Biller, Star Tribune, "As Brazil's wetlands burned, government did little to help," 30 Sep. 2020 More than 68,000 people in Sonoma and Napa counties have been evacuated in the latest inferno, one of nearly 30 fire clusters burning across the state, said Cal Fire Division Chief Ben Nichols. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Three killed in Northern California wildfire; thousands flee," 29 Sep. 2020 We were devastated to learn that much of our beloved Northern California had become an inferno. Dana Haim, Vogue, "Why We Moved into an Airstream to Drive Across America in 2020," 26 Sep. 2020 Something that provided fuel for a single virus spark to erupt into an inferno. Anchorage Daily News, "The code: How genetic science helped expose a secret coronavirus outbreak," 24 Sep. 2020 Something that provided fuel for a single virus spark to erupt into an inferno. Washington Post, "The outbreak," 24 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inferno.' 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 inferno

1834, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inferno

Italian, hell, from Late Latin infernus

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Time Traveler for inferno

Time Traveler

The first known use of inferno was in 1834

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Statistics for inferno

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inferno.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for inferno


How to pronounce inferno (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inferno

: a very large and dangerous fire

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