: a purificatory fire traditionally kindled usually by friction of dry wood in time of distress (as during a cattle plague) in the belief that it would ward off evil spirits
specifically : the fire lighted on the night of St. John the Baptist's Day (June 24) to ward off sickness and ill luck compare saint john's fire

Word History


need entry 1 + fire

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Cite this Entry

“Needfire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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