AskDefine | Define brimstone

Dictionary Definition

brimstone n : an old name for sulfur [syn: native sulfur, native sulphur]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. 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


  1. Sulphur.
  2. The sulphur of Hell; Hell, damnation.
  3. Used attributively as an intensifier in exclamations.
    'You are a brimstone pig. You're a head of swine!' — Charles Dickens, Bleak House
    'You're a brimstone idiot.' — Charles Dickens, Bleak House
  4. The butterfly Gonepteryx rhamni.


the sulphur of Hell
butterfly species
  • Danish: citronsommerfugl
  • Finnish: sitruunaperhonen
  • German: Zitronenfalter
  • Swedish: citronfjäril


  • 'Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.' — Genesis, 19:24, King James Version
  • 'And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.' — Ezekiel, 38:22 King James Version
  • 'For griefe thereof, and diuelish despight, / From his infernall fournace forth he threw / Huge flames, that dimmed all the heauens light, / Enrold in duskish smoke and brimstone blew.' — Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
  • 'Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear / Of their great Sultan waving to direct / Thir course, in even ballance down they light / On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain; / A multitude.' — John Milton, Paradise Lost
  • 'Weel I wot I wad be broken if I were to gie sic weight to the folk that come to buy our pepper and brimstone, and suchlike sweetmeats.' — Walter Scott, The Antiquary
  • '[W]hen he [the Devil] is aweary of vice, and aweary of virtue, used up as to brimstone, and used up as to bliss [...]' — Charles Dickens,Hard Times
  • 'Don't think, young man, that we go to the expense of flower of brimstone and molasses, just to purify them.' — Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby
  • 'The brimstone, too, which burns there in such prodigious quantity fills all hell with its intolerable stench.' — James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • 'But the sulphurous brimstone which burns in hell is a substance which is specially designed to burn for ever and for ever with unspeakable fury.' — James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Brimstone is an alternate name for sulfur and may also refer to:

See also

brimstone in Swedish: Brimstone
brimstone in Russian: Жупел
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