One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large or widespread fire, a conflagration. Chiefly figurative.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Matthew Hale (1609–1676), judge and writer. From ancient Greek ἐμπύρωσις kindling, heating from Hellenistic Greek ἐμπυροῦν to set on fire + -σις.
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