Definition of brimstone in English:



  • 1archaic [mass noun] Sulphur.

    • ‘And still the wall of steam and brimstone advanced…’
    • ‘No creatures reeking of brimstone entered our church.’
    • ‘The smell of blood and brimstone filled the air.’
    • ‘A fog covered her vision, a dark fog that smelt of burning brimstone.’
    • ‘At times mournful, and at other times gently consoling, there's little about it that smells of brimstone.’
  • 2A bright yellow butterfly or moth.

    • ‘Many interesting moths showed throughout this year including the Brimstone.’
    • ‘Reminding me of an animated daffodil, a male brimstone butterfly flits through the sun-dappled shade.’
    • ‘And who wouldn't enjoy the sight of the first brimstone of the year eagerly supping at a garden primrose.’


Late Old English brynstān, probably from bryne ‘burning’ + stān ‘stone’.