What word is used as an alternative to flame?

The word flame sounds negative and violent, but what I want to convey is like the flame that appears on the candle, which is polite and peaceful.

In short:

A flame of love - incorrect

A ------ of love - please fill in this blank.

What are some links where I can search for some equivalent words?

  • sorry. will do some research before posting next Question. Thanks for the answers. – Rajkamal Subramanian Nov 7 '11 at 7:28

Flame of love doesn't sound at all negative or violent, and is often used with a metaphor of a passionate fire or a burning candle.

  • Shakespeare: "There lives within the very flame of love"
  • Dante: How long in women lasts the flame of love"
  • Pushkin: "A wild flame of love thrilled through my whole being"
  • Balzac: "his eyes that glowed and sparkled with the flame of love"
  • Shelley: "I might relume in her the flame of love"
  • Conrad: "the flame of love has been kindled early in my breast"
  • Lawrence: "She looked up at him, with her dark eyes one flame of love"
  • Arabian Nights: "to kindle a flame of love while she slept"
  • Andersen: "flame of love which had so entirely filled his soul"
  • Lover: "the flame of love still smouldering in his heart was re-illumined by the sight of his charmer"

I would use the word fervency.


I think a phrase like the flame of my love sounds not violent, but passionate (and probably a bit quaint in 2011).

The flame of a candle can have many connotations - warmth, steadiness, light - and I think the word you want will change according to which of a candle's meanings you have in mind. The warmth of my love sounds peaceful and comforting, the steadiness of my love sounds reliable (if not particularly romantic), the light of my love sounds a bit poetic, etc.

I think comparing love directly to a candle (the candlelight of my love, etc.) is a bit dangerous, as part of a candle's reputation is its tendency to be snuffed out.

I guess I'm also not sure what "polite and peaceful" love quite means - is this the love of old age rather than the passionate love of youth? Is it a love that's not so strong as to make the person fight for it?


Flame is about the most antiseptic word for that concept in the English language. You aren't going to have a lot of luck finding another word with less emotional baggage.


I was thinking of brightness of love but the feeling of heat is somewhat lost with brightness.

A book in which to look for synonyms is a thesauraus. On the internet you have http://thesaurus.com/ and The Free Dictionary gives synonyms too.

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