Etymology
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flame (v.)
Middle English flaumen, also flaumben, flomben, flamben, flamen, flammen, c. 1300 (implied in flaming "to shine (like fire), gleam, sparkle like flames;" mid-14c. as "emit flames, be afire, to blaze," from Anglo-French flaumer, flaumber (Old French flamber) "burn, be on fire, be alight" (intransitive), from flamme "a flame" (see flame (n.)).

Transitive meaning "to burn, set on fire" is from 1580s. Meaning "break out in violence of passion" is from 1540s; the sense of "unleash invective on a computer network" is from 1980s. Related: Flamed; flaming. To flame out, in reference to jet engines, is from 1950.
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flame (n.)

Middle English flaume, also flaumbe, flambe, flame, flamme, mid-14c., "a flame;" late 14c., "a flaming mass, a fire; fire in general, fire as an element;" also figurative, in reference to the "heat" or "fire" of emotions, from Anglo-French flaume, flaumbe "a flame" (Old French flambe, 10c.), from Latin flammula "small flame," diminutive of flamma "flame, blazing fire," from PIE *bhleg- "to shine, flash," from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."

The meaning "a sweetheart, object of one's passion" is attested from 1640s; the figurative sense of "burning passion" was in Middle English, and the nouns in Old French and Latin also meant "fire of love, flame of passion," and, in Latin "beloved object." The Australian flame-tree is from 1857, so called for its red flowers.

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flame-thrower (n.)
also flamethrower, 1917, translating German Flammenwerfer (1915). See flame (n.) + throw (v.).
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flamer (n.)
1590s, agent noun from flame (v.). Figurative sense "glaringly conspicuous person" is from 1809. For homosexual slang sense, see flaming.
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aflame (adv., adj.)
"on fire, ablaze," 1550s, from a- (1) "on" + flame (n.). Figurative use by 1856.
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flammable (adj.)
1813, from stem of Latin flammare "to set on fire" (from flamma "flame, blazing fire;" see flame (n.)) + -able. In modern (20c.) use, a way to distinguish from the ambiguity of inflammable.
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flamingo (n.)
long-legged, long-necked brightly colored pink bird of the tropical Americas, 1560s, from Portuguese flamengo, Spanish flamengo, literally "flame-colored" (compare Greek phoinikopteros "flamingo," literally "red-feathered"), from Provençal flamenc, from flama "flame" (see flame (n.)) + Germanic suffix -enc "-ing, belonging to." Perhaps accommodated to words for Fleming (see flamenco).
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flaming (adj.)
late 14c., "flame-like in appearance;" c. 1400, "on fire," present-participle adjective from flame (v.). Meaning "of bright or gaudy colors" is from mid-15c. As an intensifying adjective, late 19c. Meaning "glaringly homosexual" is homosexual slang, 1970s (along with flamer (n.) "conspicuously homosexual man"); but flamer "glaringly conspicuous person or thing" (1809) and flaming "glaringly conspicuous" (1781) are much earlier in a general sense, both originally with reference to "wenches." Related: Flamingly.
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inflame (v.)
mid-14c., "make (someone) ardent; set (the spirit, etc.) on fire" with a passion or religious virtue, a figurative sense, from Old French enflamer "catch fire; set on fire" (Modern French enflammer), from Latin inflammare "to set on fire, kindle," figuratively "to rouse, excite," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + flammare "to flame," from flamma "a flame" (see flame (n.)).

The literal sense of "to cause to burn" first recorded in English late 14c. Meaning "to heat, make hot, cause inflammation" is from 1520s. Formerly also enflame, but since 16c. the spelling with in- has predominated. Related: Inflamed; Inflaming.
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flamboyant (adj.)

1832, originally in reference to a 15c.-16c. architectural style with wavy, flame-like curves, from French flamboyant "flaming, wavy," present participle of flamboyer "to flame," from Old French flamboiier "to flame, flare, blaze, glow, shine" (12c.), from flambe "a flame, flame of love," from flamble, variant of flamme, from Latin flammula "little flame," diminutive of flamma "flame, blazing fire" (from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn"). Extended sense of "showy, ornate" is from 1879. Related: Flamboyantly.

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