Meaning of balefire in English:


Pronunciation /ˈbeɪlfʌɪə/

See synonyms for balefire on


  • A large open-air fire.

    ‘When the solstice lordship settled upon him, he had rousted the minstrels and set great back-alley feasts, lighting the lives of London's poor like a balefire on a barren heath.’
    • ‘In many parts of the British Isles these balefires are still lighted on Samhain to honor the old ways.’
    • ‘Even today, balefires are lit all over Britain and Ireland on May Eve, just as they were in the past.’
    • ‘When the media reported the project, it was as if the artist had fired the first virtual balefire in society.’
    • ‘This gives people a false basis of comparison and a skewed view of how balefire really works.’
    • ‘When both Rand and Moridin let go of the balefire, the two worlds merged, and everything returned to normal.’
    • ‘Celebrations include dancing and singing around Maypoles and balefires, and flowers are placed about the home.’
    • ‘Glamour is stored in balefires, which burn in Freeholds, places where Changelings gather.’
    • ‘Coinciding with the moon landing of Apollo 11, the gates of Faerie flood open and Trods and balefires reawaken.’
    • ‘The Celts would light balefires all over their lands from sunset the night before Midsummer until sunset the next day.’
    • ‘There, their torches were placed in the ground around the sacred circle, often in lieu of the balefires.’
    • ‘Then on the hill that hugest of balefires the warriors wakened.’
    • ‘These festivities will include the blessing of seeds and driving cattle between two balefires to purify them and promote fertility and growth of the herd.’
    • ‘One of the many things that underwent balefire purifications was cattle, which were often led through the balefire's smoke.’
    • ‘If the Guard knew that, sonny, blood would be shed and balefires lit.’
    • ‘The balefires have been rekindled by the high king's messengers, and the land awaits the moment when winter will begin to ebb.’


Old English (recorded in poetry), from obsolete bale ‘great fire’ + fire.