Definition of Molotov cocktail in US English:

Molotov cocktail


  • A crude incendiary device typically consisting of a bottle filled with flammable liquid and with a means of ignition. The production of similar grenades was organized by Vyacheslav Molotov during World War II.

    • ‘In the streets of Paris, Molotov cocktails are heaved at the police.’
    • ‘Turtle-outfitted protestors couldn't compete with Molotov cocktails and gas masks, and the image being created grew more skewed, encouraging more violence.’
    • ‘At least 50 officers were wounded over the weekend when they came under a hail of live rounds, paint bombs, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and paving stones, police said.’
    • ‘Sources say the explosion could have been caused by one of three devices - a grenade, a Molotov cocktail or a stray bullet hitting the gas tank.’
    • ‘The embattled workers used Molotov cocktails, iron bars and fire hoses in an attempt to ward off the police and defend themselves.’
    • ‘The wick caught fire immediately and Julius threw the Molotov cocktail with amazing force.’
    • ‘Other weapons are really unique and interesting, like the ballistic shield, the Molotov cocktail or the LAW rocket.’
    • ‘They had studied firearms, explosives and tactical training, and learned how to detonate hand grenades, Molotov cocktails and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.’
    • ‘Police have patrolled without stepping in as demonstrators burned trash, hurled Molotov cocktails and in some cases opened fire with handguns.’
    • ‘In fact, they were throwing Molotov cocktails and hand grenades and firing AK - 47s.’
    • ‘The pair then planned their revenge, buying petrol and a bottle of milk from a filling station to make the Molotov cocktail.’
    • ‘You'll be handed a list of ‘combine items’ you can make at the start of a stage, such as lockpicks, Molotov cocktails, or improvised timebombs.’
    • ‘Only two Molotov cocktails were actually found, however, along with a handful of sticks, iron bars and pocketknives, which strained credulity as a ‘cache of weapons.’’
    • ‘‘At first, the villagers managed to chase the mobs away, but then they came back with thousands of people, throwing Molotov cocktails at the houses and a church,’ Sarjo said.’
    • ‘They filled up a lot of the twist top bottles and made Molotov cocktails out of them.’
    • ‘At least one bank was set on fire, as protesters answered tear gas canisters and rubber bullets with stones and Molotov cocktails.’
    • ‘The mob began to hurl rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and other debris at the soldiers in an attempt to take over the bridge.’
    • ‘Only weeks before Molotov cocktails hit the L.A.-area car dealers, the arsonists torched a five-story apartment complex being built near San Diego.’
    • ‘In several districts they were aided by militias in civilian dress armed with machetes and Molotov cocktails to scare away voters.’
    • ‘‘Revolution, revolution, revolution until we die,’ the students sang before they began to throw stones and Molotov cocktails at about 500 police.’


From the name of Vyacheslav Molotov (see Molotov, Vyacheslav), who led the Soviet campaign against Finland in 1939–40, when such weapons were used by the Finns.


Molotov cocktail

/ˈmɑləˌtɔf ˈkɑkˌteɪl/