Definition of flame war in US English:

flame war


  • A lengthy exchange of angry or abusive messages between users of an online forum or other discussion area.

    ‘when people engage in flame wars, they often do battle from behind the cloak of anonymity’
    • ‘However, after spam and flame wars became rampant, and the deteriorating signal/noise ratio began to threaten the list's viability, moderation was introduced.’
    • ‘The huge surface area of all these worlds of programming leads to pointless flame wars over whose world is better.’
    • ‘It is always best to avoid these situations when you see a flame war is about to start as nothing constructive comes of them.’
    • ‘I'll bet those quotes were cut and pasted from an IRC channel during a teenage geek flame war.’
    • ‘This conversation has almost turned out into a fully fledged flame war.’
    • ‘Anyway, I have no wish to get into a flame war so I'll get to my point now.’
    • ‘According to Martin, every now and then a flame war erupts over German usage, and it gets just as virulent as with English.’
    • ‘The irony is that if two users in a flame war met face to face, they would most likely get on famously, especially as the heat of debate is far easily settled across a table than across a cable.’
    • ‘A flame war quickly erupted, with people on all sides of the issue exchanging emails.’
    • ‘After the initial ambush, the discussion tends to turn into a brief flame war over the semantics of the quote - even though the gist is unchanged.’
    • ‘How can this be done without incurring the wrath of an angry e-mail flame war?’
    • ‘There was a huge flame war which I think split Dr Who fandom permanently over whether the novels were canon, btw.’
    • ‘Without the visual cues we get in face-to-face conversation, flame wars could erupt.’
    • ‘As a courtesy to your fellow Netizens, don't contribute to a troller's bait or a flame war.’
    • ‘Some flame wars become so serious that they end with members being banned from chat rooms or message boards.’
    • ‘Don't get in flame wars on Usenet (or anywhere else).’
    • ‘And finding what you want in a text-based cacophony of spam, flame wars and off-topic nonsense can be maddening.’
    • ‘A flame war and a face-to-face argument are two very different things.’
    • ‘Sometimes these exchanges produce flame wars, sometimes mutual understanding.’