- The definition of brimstone is sulfur, usually referenced when describing hell.
An example of brimstone is something that burns in the fictional images of hell.
Origin of brimstoneMiddle English brimston ; from Old English brynstan: see burn and amp; stone
- Sulfur, especially considered as a component of the torments of hell in Christianity.
- a. Damnation to hell.b. Vehement or condemnatory rhetoric, especially rhetoric warning of the torments of hell for immoral behavior: a sermon full of fire and brimstone.
Origin of brimstoneMiddle English brimston, from Old English brynstān; see gwher- in Indo-European roots.
- Composed of or resembling brimstone; about or pertaining to Hell.
- '[W]ho walked up Aldersgate-street to some chapel where she comforts herself with brimstone doctrine.' — Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller
- '[A] cheerful ballad about a murderer who was afraid to go to bed in the dark because he saw certain brimstone flames around him.' — Thomas Hardy Tess of the d'Urbevilles
- '[...] he gave vent to a succession of sounds, not unlike the drawing of some eight or ten dozen of long corks, and again asserted his brimstone birth and parentage with great distinctness.' — Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge
- 'I wish your brimstone grandmother was here, and he'd shave her head off.' — Charles Dickens, Bleak House
- 'From his brimstone bed at break of day / A walking the Devil is gone.' — Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(countable and uncountable, plural brimstones)
From Middle English brimston, bremston, corrupted forms of brinston, brenston, bernston, from Old English brynstān (“brimstone”, literally “burn-stone”), equivalent to brian + stone, or burn + stone. Cognate with Scots brunstane (“brimstone”), Icelandic brennisteinn (“sulfur, brimstone”), German Bernstein (“amber”). Compare also brimfire. More at burn, stone.
Once a synonym for "sulphur," the word is now restricted to Biblical usage.