Definition of Greek fire in English:

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Greek fire

Pronunciation: /ɡrēk ˈfī(ə)r/

noun

historical
A combustible compound emitted by a flame-throwing weapon and used to set light to enemy ships. It was first used by the Greeks besieged in Constantinople (673–78). It ignited on contact with water, and was probably based on naphtha and quicklime.
Example sentences
  • In 1139 the Second Lateran Council decreed that Greek fire and similar burning weapons were ‘too murderous ‘to be used in Europe.’
  • Their navy first threatened Constantinople in 654, Greek fire being one of the weapons used to defeat this and subsequent armadas.
  • The defenders of the castle were killed off by hunger, plague, or actual weapons such as Greek fire arrows.
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