What does napalm mean?

Definitions for napalm
ˈneɪ pɑmna·palm

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word napalm.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. napalmnoun

    gasoline jelled with aluminum soaps; highly incendiary liquid used in fire bombs and flamethrowers


  1. napalmnoun

    A highly flammable, viscous substance, (designed to stick to the body while burning), used in warfare to cause widespread death and destruction, especially in wooded areas.

  2. napalmverb

    To spray or attack an area using such substance.

  3. Etymology: Formed from naphthenic palmitic acid, the two original components of the substance.


  1. Napalm

    Napalm is an incendiary mixture of a gelling agent and a volatile petrochemical (usually gasoline (petrol) or diesel fuel). The name is a portmanteau of two of the constituents of the original thickening and gelling agents: coprecipitated aluminium salts of naphthenic acid and palmitic acid. Napalm B is the more modern version of napalm (utilizing polystyrene derivatives) and, although distinctly different in its chemical composition, is often referred to simply as "napalm". A team led by chemist Louis Fieser originally developed napalm for the US Chemical Warfare Service in 1942 in a secret laboratory at Harvard University. Of immediate first interest was its viability as an incendiary device to be used in fire bombing campaigns during World War II; its potential to be coherently projected into a solid stream that would carry for distance (instead of the bloomy fireball of pure gasoline) resulted in widespread adoption in infantry flamethrowers as well. Napalm burns at temperatures ranging from 800 to 1,200 °C (1,470 to 2,190 °F). In addition, it burns longer than gasoline, is more easily dispersed, and sticks to its targets. These traits make it effective and controversial. It has been widely deployed from the air and from the ground, the largest use being via airdropped bombs in World War II in the incendiary attacks on Japanese cities in 1945. It was used also for close air support roles in Korea and Vietnam. Napalm also has fueled most of the flamethrowers (tank-, ship-, and infantry-based) used since World War II, giving them much greater range, and was a common weapon of urban combat by both the Axis and the Allies in World War II.


  1. Napalm

    Napalm is a mixture of a thickening/gelling agent and petroleum or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device. Initially used against buildings and later primarily as an anti-personnel weapon that sticks to skin and causes severe burns when on fire. Napalm was developed in 1943, in a secret laboratory at Harvard University in Massachusetts, by a team led by chemist Louis Fieser. "Napalm" is a combination of the names of two of the constituents of the gelling agent: naphthenic acid and palmitic acid. "Napalm B" is the more modern version of napalm and, although distinctly different in its chemical composition, it is often referred to simply as "napalm". Napalm was first used in World War Two. In 1980, the United Nations "declared the gel's use on concentrations of civilians a war crime".

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. napalm

    1. Powdered aluminum soap or similar compound used to gelatinize oil or gasoline for use in napalm bombs or flame throwers. 2. The resultant gelatinized substance.

Suggested Resources

  1. napalm

    Song lyrics by napalm -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by napalm on the Lyrics.com website.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of napalm in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of napalm in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of napalm in a Sentence

  1. Barbara Hall:

    It's funny, to me, the way people refer to childbirth as a miraculous event. A miracle is something that defies nature. Only, childbirth has got to be the most natural thing in the world. Top three anyway. But, on the other hand, when you think about it, there's really no other word that fits. Sperm. Egg. A coincidental meshing of genetic information that will grow something that could write an opera or cook up some Napalm. It blows my mind.

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Translations for napalm

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"napalm." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/napalm>.

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    a confused multitude of things
    • A. dint
    • B. flair
    • C. brasserie
    • D. muddle

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