Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A raging, rapidly spreading fire.
  • n. Something that acts very quickly and intensely: a land swept by the wildfire of revolution.
  • n. Lightning occurring without audible thunder.
  • n. A luminosity that appears over swamps or marshes at night; ignis fatuus.
  • n. A highly flammable material, such as Greek fire, once used in warfare.
  • idiom like wildfire Rapidly and intensely: The disease spread like wildfire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rapidly spreading fire, especially one occurring in a wildland area.
  • n. Greek fire, Byzantine fire.
  • n. A spreading disease of the skin, particularly erysipelas.
  • n. Something that acts quickly and uncontrollably.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A composition of inflammable materials, which, kindled, is very hard to quench; Greek fire.
  • n.
  • n. An old name for erysipelas.
  • n. A disease of sheep, attended with inflammation of the skin.
  • n. A sort of lightning unaccompanied by thunder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A composition of inflammable materials readily catching fire and hard to be extinguished; Greek fire: often used figuratively.
  • n. Sheet-lightning; a kind of lightning unaccompanied by thunder.
  • n. The blue flames of alcohol burnt in some dishes when brought on table, as with plum-pudding.
  • n. In coal-mining, the name formerly sometimes given by miners to fire-damp.
  • n. Erysipelas; also, lichen circumseriptus, an eruptive disease, consisting of clusters or patches of papulæ.
  • n. A disease of sheep, attended with inflammation of the skin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a raging and rapidly spreading conflagration

Etymologies

Wild + fire. In the Middle Ages, the term referred to Greek fire. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • This can also be used as a weapon, as in the case of the battle of King's Landing.

    June 26, 2012