n. & v.
n. 1 a ignited gas (the fire burnt with a steady flame). b one portion of this (the flame flickered and died). c (usu. in pl.) visible combustion (burst into flames). 2 a a bright light; brilliant colouring. b a brilliant orange-red colour. 3 a strong passion, esp. love (fan the flame). b colloq. a boyfriend or girlfriend.
v. 1 intr. & tr. (often foll. by away, forth, out, up) emit or cause to emit flames. 2 intr. (often foll. by out, up) a (of passion) break out. b (of a person) become angry. 3 intr. shine or glow like flame (leaves flamed in the autumn sun). 4 intr. poet. move like flame. 5 tr. send (a signal) by means of flame. 6 tr. subject to the action of flame. flame gun a device for throwing flames to destroy weeds etc. flame out (of a jet engine) lose power through the extinction of the flame in the combustion chamber. flame-proof (esp. of a fabric) treated so as to be non-flammable. flame-thrower (or -projector) a weapon for throwing a spray of flame. flame-tree any of various trees with brilliant red flowers esp. flame-of-the-forest, Delonix regia. go up in flames be consumed by fire. flameless adj. flamelike adj. flamy adj.
[ ME f. OF flame, flam(m)er f. L flamma ]