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na·​palm ˈnā-ˌpäm How to pronounce napalm (audio) -ˌpälm How to pronounce napalm (audio)
 also  ˈna-,
 also  nə-ˈpä(l)m
: a thickener consisting of a mixture of aluminum soaps used in jelling gasoline (as for incendiary bombs)
: fuel jelled with napalm


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napalmed; napalming; napalms

transitive verb

: to assault with napalm

Examples of napalm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
According to some estimates, American jets dropped 635,000 tons of bombs, which included 32,000 tons of napalm. Andrada Fiscutean, Ars Technica, 25 Aug. 2023 Another $10,000 or more is invested in Dow Chemical Co., which manufactured napalm used as a weapon by the U.S. in the Vietnam War and urged the Trump administration to ignore findings that its pesticides are harmful to endangered species. Mackenzie Mays, Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2023 By asking chatbots the right questions, people have previously convinced the machines to ignore preset rules and offer criminal advice, such as a recipe for napalm. Chris Stokel-Walker, Scientific American, 6 Dec. 2023 But the company backed out of its contract Monday, citing political and governmental pressure, and leaving the napalm with no place to go. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Apr. 2023 The even more cynical take would be that dead trees served as green napalm during fire season to discourage the unwanted hoi polloi from living in the hill and mountain cabins that in a more perfect world would properly belong, in Sheriff of Nottingham style, to the Sierra Club. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 15 Sep. 2020 Some iconic images from the Vietnam War — the running, nude Vietnamese girl who was caught in a napalm attack, for example — gained their full historic import only after the war. Naomi Nix, Washington Post, 14 May 2023 The ad promised that The Committee would collect war toys (two whimsical recommendations: a plastic bazooka and an atomic tank that ejects napalm) for the Defense Department and drop them on the Pentagon from a helicopter. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 30 Apr. 2023 Some iconic images from the Vietnam War - the running, nude Vietnamese girl who was caught in a napalm attack, for example - gained their full historic import only after the war. Marc Fisher and Naomi Nix, Anchorage Daily News, 14 May 2023
In 1980, the United Nations banned the use of weapons like napalm against civilians, but these regulations don’t apply on the battlefield. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 June 2022 That bridge was napalmed with Antonio Brown’s gameday tweet on Robert Kraft. Albert Breer,, 3 Oct. 2019 The entire Texas defense was napalmed in that 45-38 loss at Royal-Memorial Stadium, the line included. Nick Moyle,, 17 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History



naphthene + palmitate

First Known Use


1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of napalm was in 1942

Dictionary Entries Near napalm

Cite this Entry

“Napalm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a thickener used to make gasoline jellylike (as for bombs)
: fuel made jellylike with napalm

More from Merriam-Webster on napalm

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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