from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of portfire.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Luckily I took the bolder course, remembering their portfires, which would make the cave like day.

    Mary Anerley

  • Gunners struggled to keep their portfires alight in the rain and then, on a word of command, touched the two reed fuses and the powder flashed down to the overcharged chambers, the guns fired into each other, leaped back in a wrenching explosion of smoke and flames and then were left with ripped, torn barrels.

    Sharpe's Havoc

  • The guns were loaded, their portfires smoking gently in readiness for the French.

    Sharpe's Waterloo

  • A few cannon had been left loaded with cannister and the portfires touched the quills to send barrels of the killing musket-halls at the rumps of the fleeing cavalry.

    Sharpe's Waterloo

  • The gunners carried their rammers and portfires with them.

    Sharpe's Waterloo

  • The glowing slow-matches of the portfires touched the quills and the nine-pounders crashed back on their trails.

    Sharpe's Waterloo

  • The portfires touched the fire to the quills of mealed powder that flashed the flame down to the charge in the fabric bags, and the guns crashed back on their trails, their wheels jumping clear out of the mud before smashing down yards back from where they had started.

    Sharpe's Waterloo

  • The gunners, who had been hammering quoins into the shaken howitzer beds, leaped back as the portfires were lit and as the barrels thudded down again.

    Sharpe's Siege

  • The brass elevating screws were turned and the portfires touched vent tubes and the fire slipped down to the coarse powder that hammered more grapeshot to slice into the undergrowth across the clearing.

    Sharpe's Siege

  • Overhead the gunners prepared, the tools of their trade, their rippers and wormheads, rammers and swabbers, buckets and portfires, spikes and fuses.

    Sharpe's Enemy


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