Meaning of napalm in English:



mass noun
  • A highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flame-throwers, consisting of petrol thickened with special soaps.

    • ‘I remember me and my mates nearly burning my shed down making napalm from petrol and soap when I was about 13 or 14.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the prime stocks of precision munitions have been drawn down, and speculation about the future use of cluster bombs and napalm and other vile weapons is being heard.’
    • ‘The white supremacist, who amassed a terrifying stockpile of arms and explosives including home-made napalm and shotguns, has been jailed for 11 years.’
    • ‘It has been alleged in the course of the raids that chemical weapons and napalm bombs were also used.’
    • ‘We expended almost two million tons of bombs, rockets, napalm, and so forth against the trail and lost far too many men.’
    • ‘If they got any human readings, they would call in the attack bombers, which would drop napalm, for total destruction.’
    • ‘A major problem with a weapon like napalm, dropped from a great height on those who are thought to be soldiers, is that there is great risk of also killing or maiming civilians.’
    • ‘He concluded that compared to weapons like napalm, ‘these temporarily disabling gases seem more humane than horrible’.’
    • ‘Hand grenades produce nearly as much flame as a flamethrower, and artillery rounds look like a full blown napalm strike when they go off.’
    • ‘For sixty-two years, the Navy pummeled the island with millions of pounds of bombs, missiles, depleted-uranium bullets, napalm and Agent Orange.’
    • ‘I watched the pilot of the Corsair in front of me drop his napalm bombs.’
    • ‘The US has already admitted that it used napalm during the siege.’
    • ‘They are using depleted uranium weapons, and may be using napalm.’
    • ‘The French military calmly withdrew long enough to launch an air strike that dropped napalm on the exposed Italian troops.’
    • ‘Coalition forces have not used napalm - either during operations there, or at any other time.’
    • ‘There are at least two separate reports that the Americans are dropping napalm.’
    • ‘These were upsetting photos of effects of people burned by napalm and vegetation devastated by Agent Orange.’
    • ‘Napalm was used widely against civilians, and most major cities were obliterated.’
    • ‘Napalm was dropped indiscriminately, and the US seriously debated dropping nuclear weapons on the North.’


[with object]
  • Attack with bombs containing napalm.

    • ‘The defenders had been bombed and napalmed by airplanes, shellacked by artillery and doused with poison gas, and they had no ammunition of their own left to fight back.’
    • ‘In the foreground, I copied this photo of a girl who'd been napalmed in the war.’
    • ‘I heard the marine colonel say: ‘We napalmed those bridges.’’
    • ‘‘We napalmed both those bridge approaches,’ said the Colonel in a recent interview.’
    • ‘Are we going to start napalming the country for him or something?’
    • ‘A friend said ‘Should've napalmed the lot of 'em.’’
    • ‘The police found that the remains found at the 97th Penthouse were napalmed to death.’
    • ‘If we were to take this line of reasoning to its logical extreme, the tragedy at My Lai would have been regarded differently in history had a pair of F - 4 fighter-bombers napalmed the village.’
    • ‘We flattened North Korea's dams, factories, and cities, and napalmed its forests.’
    • ‘I think a genuine concern is raised by people concerning the graphic image of that young girl who had been napalmed.’
    • ‘The village was burning because it had been napalmed.’
    • ‘First let's remember that nobody is perfect and America itself napalmed civilian villages in Vietnam.’
    • ‘Targets, including towns and villages, are indiscriminately bombed and napalmed.’
    • ‘There's an image of a girl running after being napalmed.’
    • ‘‘Our Government should napalm whoever was responsible for this,’ said an outraged tourist, who lives six miles from the stricken site.’
    • ‘It would go and burn off tracts of native bush - napalm them, actually - so that it could plant pine trees in the name of regional development.’
    • ‘The general in charge of the napalming, acknowledged that had the United States lost the war he would most probably have been tried as a war criminal.’
    • ‘It was brandished by the anti-war movement to point up the discrepancy between our purported war aims and the grisly realities of napalmed villages and dead Vietnamese civilians.’
    • ‘They refused to sign a 1980 UN treaty banning the napalming of civilian targets and are one of the few countries still using such concoctions.’
    • ‘In fact, there are a few, such as the napalming of the crestline at the end of the first mission that will take your breath away.’


1940s from na(phthenic) and palm(itic acid).