One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large fire that is dangerously out of control.
blaze, conflagration, holocaust, firestormView synonyms
- ‘Breathing apparatus, three jets, foam and two ground monitors were used to get the inferno under control.’
- ‘Within approximately 15 minutes, firefighters managed to control the inferno.’
- ‘More than 60 fire fighters tackled an inferno at a former tannery in Otley last night.’
- ‘The cool, moist ocean breezes replaced the hotter and drier Santa Ana wind that had whipped fires into raging infernos at the weekend.’
- ‘A huge inferno swept through the scene and raged for several days.’
- ‘And so we poured gas down every cavernous hole we found, and then exploded them with torches, setting the caves on fire like raw infernos.’
- ‘The worst inferno during that spate swept into the national capital of Canberra, where it razed 500 homes and killed four people.’
- ‘Crews fought the flames for 15 minutes before getting the inferno under control but had to remain at the scene for 90 minutes.’
- ‘The sound of helicopters and sirens could be heard as the emergency services turned out to bring what was a raging inferno under control.’
- ‘It took four hours for 17 firefighters and officers to control the inferno and carry out salvage work on the 15 by eight metre room.’
- ‘What was once a calm working environment had become a burning inferno in just one burst of flame.’
- ‘Firefighters fought for over an hour to control the inferno in the city's center.’
- ‘Dozens of local residents rang the fire brigade as the inferno ripped through the offices and warehouse area.’
- ‘It's an explosive mix that has turned normal fires into ferocious infernos.’
- ‘We certainly didn't want to turn a fire into an inferno, but we were sitting in a burning jet.’
- ‘A police helicopter also circled the site, sending images of the inferno down to fire crews to help them tackle the blaze.’
- ‘These fires were not catastrophic infernos but rather a life-giving natural event for the forest.’
- ‘By this time the fire had become an inferno and tyres were exploding around them.’
- ‘When she glanced down at the hole, the whole bottom floor was a burning inferno, and the flames were jumping up.’
- ‘Officers spent nearly three hours battling with the inferno before they could bring the fire under control.’
2Hell (with reference to Dante's Divine Comedy).
- ‘It's hell, the real thing, the genuine Inferno.’
- ‘That would be like asking Dante to traverse his Inferno again.’
- ‘As we have already seen, Dante's guide through Inferno or Hell, was the Roman poet and pagan, Virgil.’
- ‘Dante put him in the 9th Circle of Hell in The Inferno because he was the first one to put his own face on the money he produced.’
- ‘This guy appeared among the enchanters in the eighth circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno, so he must have been almighty.’
Mid 19th century: from Italian, from Christian Latin infernus (see infernal).
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