from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A self-igniting match, ie. one which could be lit by striking on any surface (as opposed to safety matches which only light against the material on the side of the box).


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally a brand name for matches made by Samuel Jones from 1830, soon used generically for self-igniting matches of any brand. From lucifer ("bringer of light")


  • We want some bread and meat, and our pipes, and a little bag or two, and two or three kite-strings, and some of these new-fangled things they call lucifer matches.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  • Red paint had been splashed on them in the forms, respectively, of a giant letter s followed by the word murder, a five-pointed star labelled lucifer and a sprawling, badly-executed swastika.

    The Murder of Busy Lizzie

  • Little doubt that in his heart he wished the lucifer were a dagger and that he had the courage to use it.

    Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places

  • Did you know that the Dutch word for matchstick is "lucifer"?

    My Christmas gift to you

  • The boys involved off are hauled off to the magistrate by the local village policeman, who, comically, had imagined that a blazer, the top garment worn by schoolboys of that era (and mine) was a kind of lucifer, which in turn was a kind of match used before the invention of the safety-match.

    Tom, Dick and Harry

  • Here's some news for you … the word "lucifer" is not a name but a title derived from the latin word for "lightbringer."

    Alex Jones' Prison

  • ..haha, I meant to say that the Dutch use the word "lucifer" for matchstick, not that it's a Dutch word.

    My Christmas gift to you

  • Especially if said wings come with traits such as "fallen aka special" and "perfect aka god's little helper" As an eighteen year old girl, if i ever met an angel I think I'd tell him to fly back to wherever he came from cause I like the boys who side with lucifer every now and again. "aka bad boys"

    FRIDAY; Or, This Week in Queries

  • Ave, cuius nativitas [Hail, whose birth] nostra fuit solemnitas, [brought us joy] ut lucifer lux oriens [as light-bearing morning star] verum solem praeveniens. [went before the true sun]

    Josquin's Ave Maria

  • Are they calling Liz or dick lucifer? just click here and things will start to get be

    Think Progress » Toby Keith joins LL Cool J in shock at being used for Palin’s Fox News show.


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  • Also used as the name of Cinderella's cat.

    January 30, 2010

  • Jeez, ptero, what could be more charming than calling your daughter a name "bearer of light". next thing you know, you'll be inveighing against people who call their daughters Jezebel. Or Moon Unit. Or Fifi Trixibelle.

    September 21, 2009

  • This story falls into the category of Horrifying But True: today at work I heard a customer call her young daughter "Lucifer". I remember it with dreadful clarity. It wasn't Lucy. It wasn't Jennifer. It was Lucifer.

    I searched the customer's face for any sign that it might be a joke, or a slip of the tongue, but no -- she was totally deadpan, and the daughter didn't seem at all surprised. I'm forced to conclude, against my will, that the girl's name was actually "Lucifer".

    Sheesh. That poor girl!

    September 21, 2009

  • In Stralya, Lucifer is a brand of firelighters, methinks.

    July 23, 2009

  • Lucifers are a certain kind of matches, not just regular ones. Now that you mention it, I've also heard them called barnburners.

    July 23, 2009

  • I've heard older people referring to matches in general as lucifers. It is a lovely word.

    July 23, 2009

  • Just as phosphorus, if you prefer ancient Greek.

    June 18, 2008

  • “light giver�?

    January 11, 2008

  • with a lower-case L, a common noun originally "lucifer match: A friction match made usually of a splint of wood tipped with an inflammable substance ignitable on a roughened or otherwise prepared surface." (OED)

    Usage: 1849 MRS. CARLYLE, Lett. II. 42 "When we had put a lucifer to some sticks in the grate..."

    February 13, 2007