flame

The flame of a fire produces light and heat and often flickers or dances. As a verb, to flame is to be on fire or to flare up.

On the Internet, flame has a different meaning: to post or send aggressive, negative, or insulting messages in a public electronic forum. "Flame wars" are exchanges of such messages between individuals or parties and often occur behind a veil of anonymity. It's an appropriate term, given that inflammatory, which takes flame as its root, describes speech or action that tends to incite a heightened and negative response.

Definitions of flame
  1. noun
    the process of combustion of inflammable materials producing heat and light and (often) smoke
    synonyms: fire, flaming
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    blaze, blazing
    a strong flame that burns brightly
    flare
    a sudden burst of flame
    ignition
    the process of initiating combustion or catching fire
    spontaneous combustion
    ignition of a substance (as oily rags) resulting from an internal oxidation process
    type of:
    burning, combustion
    a process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to give heat and light
  2. verb
    be in flames or aflame
    “The sky seemed to flame in the Hawaiian sunset”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    burn, combust
    undergo combustion
  3. verb
    shine with a sudden light
    synonyms: flare
    see moresee less
    type of:
    beam, shine
    emit light; be bright, as of the sun or a light
  4. verb
    criticize harshly, usually via an electronic medium
    “the person who posted an inflammatory message got flamed
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week