Definition of balefire in English:



  • A large open-air fire.

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


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