Meaning of FLAME in English

I. flame 1 /fleɪm/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: Latin flamma 'flame' ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] hot bright burning gas that you see when something is on fire:

Flames poured out of the windows of the building.

They rushed past us with buckets of water and tried to douse the flames.

They sat around the campfire, watching the flickering flames.

Flames quickly engulfed the building.

a candle flame

2 . in flames burning in a way that is difficult to control:

When we reached Mandalay it was in flames.

They escaped just as the house was engulfed in flames.

3 . go up in flames/burst into flames to suddenly begin burning in a way that is difficult to control:

The helicopter burst into flames after hitting a power line.

4 . a flame of anger/desire/passion etc literary a strong feeling:

Flames of desire shot through her.

5 . [countable] an angry or rude email

⇨ old flame at ↑ old (4), ⇨ naked flame at ↑ naked (5), ⇨ fan the flames at ↑ fan 2 (2), ⇨ add fuel to the fire/flames at ↑ add (9)

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■ verbs

▪ put out/extinguish the flames (=make them stop burning)

The firemen successfully put out the flames.

▪ douse the flames (=pour water on them to make them stop)

We used a bucket of water to douse the flames.

▪ smother the flames (=put something over them to make them stop burning)

Barry smothered the flames with a blanket.

▪ fan the flames (=make them burn more by waving something in front of them)

She used a large piece of card to fan the flames.

▪ a flame burns

The flames were burning brightly.

▪ a flame dies down (=burns less strongly)

By evening, the flames had gradually died down.

▪ a flame goes out (=stops burning)

Try not to let the flame go out.

▪ flames flicker ( also flames dance literary ) (=they move)

He watched the flames flickering in the fireplace.

▪ flames engulf something (=they completely surround and burn something)

Flames quickly engulfed the building.

▪ flames leap (=they go high into the air)

Flames were leaping up the chimney.

▪ flames lick something literary (=they touch something lightly)

Flames licked the darkening sky.


▪ a naked/an open flame (=not enclosed with a cover)

Never use a naked flame near spray paint.

▪ a candle flame

He lit the fire with the candle flame.

▪ a gas flame

The glass is heated over a gas flame.

II. flame 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

1 . literary to become suddenly bright with light or colour, especially red or orange:

Erica’s cheeks flamed with anger.

2 . literary to burn brightly:

A great fire flamed in an open fireplace.

3 . to send someone an angry or rude message in an email or on a ↑ bulletin board

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.