na·​palm | \ ˈnā-ˌpäm How to pronounce napalm (audio) , -ˌpälm How to pronounce napalm (audio) also ˈna- also nə-ˈpä(l)m \

Definition of napalm

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thickener consisting of a mixture of aluminum soaps used in jelling gasoline (as for incendiary bombs)
2 : fuel jelled with napalm


napalmed; napalming; napalms

Definition of napalm (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to assault with napalm

Examples of napalm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Up to 11,000 pounds of additional armament can be carried on under-wing pylons-extra missiles, bombs, napalm, special weaponry—whatever is required for the mission. Sheldon M. Gallager, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2021 Dow stopped producing napalm for the U.S. military that year. New York Times, 23 June 2021 Enough chemists would have refused to make napalm that the cost of producing the explosive would have become prohibitively high. Zachary D. Carter, The New Republic, 17 June 2021 Or the photo of Kim Phuc, the naked Vietnamese girl fleeing the napalm that has just incinerated her home., 20 Apr. 2021 Or the photo of Kim Phuc, the naked Vietnamese girl fleeing the napalm that has just incinerated her home., 20 Apr. 2021 Inside the truck or on him, Coffman had a shotgun, a rifle, three pistols and 11 Mason jar bombs inside a cooler that, if detonated, could have acted like napalm. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, 25 May 2021 The two atomic bombs, while devastating Hiroshima and Nagasaki, brought the madness of napalm firebombing to a grinding halt. Paul Kennedy, WSJ, 30 Apr. 2021 In late 1944, thousands of bombs packed with napalm reached the Marianas. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

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


1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1950, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for napalm


naphthene + palmitate

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Napalm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for napalm



English Language Learners Definition of napalm

: a thick substance that contains gasoline and that is used in bombs that cause a destructive fire over a wide area

More from Merriam-Webster on napalm

Britannica English: Translation of napalm for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about napalm


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