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a- (on, in) +‎ blaze (flame)


  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbleɪz/
  • Rhymes: -eɪz
  • (file)


ablaze (comparative more ablaze, superlative most ablaze)

  1. Burning fiercely; in a blaze; on fire. [18th century.]
    • 1791, The Bee, Volume 4, Short Chronicle of Events, 27 July, 1791, p. v,[1]
      On entering the walls which surround the house, then all ablaze, a most dreadful conflict took place []
    • 1881, Walt Whitman, “The Torch”, in Leaves of Grass[2], Boston: James R. Osgood, page 305:
      The canoe, a dim shadowy thing, moves across the black water, / Bearing a torch ablaze at the prow.
    • 1932, Pearl S. Buck, Sons, Wakefield, RI: Moyer Bell, 1992, Chapter 13, pp. 128-129,[3]
      So Wang and Tiger’s men rushed into such houses as were not too ablaze and they began to drag out booty of silken pieces and yards of cloth and garments and anything they could carry.
    • 2011 October 23, Phil McNulty, “Man Utd 1 - 6 Man City”, in BBC Sport[4]:
      Mario Balotelli, in the headlines for accidentally setting his house ablaze with fireworks, put City on their way with goals either side of the interval as United struggled to contain the array of attacking talent in front of them.
  2. Radiant with bright light and color. [18th century.]
    • 1716, John Gay, Trivia[5], 3rd edition, London: Bernard Lintot, published 1730, Book 3, p. 64:
      The Heav’ns are all a-blaze, the face of night
      Is cover’d with a sanguine dreadful light:
    • 1872, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christus: A Mystery:
      All ablaze with crimson and gold.
    • 1923, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter I, in Leave It to Psmith:
      The day being June the thirtieth, which is the very high-tide time of summer flowers, the immediate neighbourhood of the castle was ablaze with roses, pinks, pansies, carnations, hollyhocks, columbines, larkspurs, London pride, Canterbury bells, and a multitude of other choice blooms.
    • 1961, Cyprian Ekwensi, chapter 3, in Jagua Nana[6], Greenwich, CT: Fawcett, published 1969, page 13:
      She loved this hour when the lights were coming up in the causeway: white and blue and orange lights and the hotels and coloured adverts ablaze but not yet effective in the pale twilight.
    • 2021 July 28, Paul Bigland, “Calder line captures picturesque Pennines”, in RAIL, number 936, page 69:
      Autumn is a lovely time to visit as the tree cover near the line is ablaze with colour.
  3. In a state of glowing excitement, ardent desire, or other strong emotion. [17th century.]
    • c. 1680, uncredited translator, An Essay upon the Action of an Orator by Michel Le Faucheur, London: Nicholas Cox, pp. 184-185,[7]
      And this Fire of your Eyes easily strikes those of your Auditors, who have theirs constantly fixt upon yours; and it must needs set them a-blaze too upon the same Resentment and Passion.
    • 1851, Thomas Carlyle, The Life of John Sterling:
      The young Cambridge democrats were all ablaze to assist Torrijos.
    • 1880, George Washington Cable, chapter 40, in The Grandissimes[8], New York: Scribner, page 318:
      Raoul was ablaze with indignation.
    • 1955, James Baldwin, “Carmen Jones: The Dark is Light Enough”, in Notes of a Native Son[9], New York: Dial, published 1963, page 48:
      His indifference to Carmen, who has all the other males in sight quivering with a passion never seen on land or sea, sets her ablaze; in a series of scenes which it is difficult to call erotic without adding that they are also infantile, she goes after him and he falls.
    • 2019, Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King[10], Edinburgh: Canongate:
      [] Dawit, glorious and fearless, charging at the enemy, [] his eyes ablaze with a hatred so pure that for a moment, the ascaro draws back before he lifts his weapon and aims.


Derived terms[edit]



ablaze (comparative more ablaze, superlative most ablaze)

  1. On fire; in a blaze. [Early 19th century.][1]
  2. Lit up brightly and with color, gleaming.
  3. In a state of glowing excitement or ardent desire.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “ablaze”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5.