noun, often attributive \ˈfī(-ə)r\

: the light and heat and especially the flame produced by burning

: an occurrence in which something burns : the destruction of something (such as a building or a forest) by fire

: a controlled occurrence of fire created by burning something (such as wood or gas) in a special area (such as in a fireplace or stove)

Full Definition of FIRE

a (1) :  the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat (2) :  one of the four elements of the alchemists
b (1) :  burning passion :  ardor
(2) :  liveliness of imagination :  inspiration
a :  fuel in a state of combustion (as on a hearth)
b British :  a small gas or electric space heater
a :  a destructive burning (as of a building)
b (1) :  death or torture by fire
(2) :  severe trial or ordeal
:  brilliancy, luminosity <the fire of a gem>
a :  the firing of weapons (as firearms, artillery, or missiles)
b :  intense verbal attack or criticism
c :  a rapidly delivered series (as of remarks)
fire·less \-ləs\ adjective
on fire
:  being consumed by fire :  aflame
:  eager, burning
under fire
:  exposed to fire from an enemy's weapons
:  under attack

Examples of FIRE

  1. Stay away from the fire.
  2. The shack was destroyed by a fire.
  3. Two people died in that terrible fire.
  4. How did the fire start?
  5. We warmed our hands over the fire.
  6. She built a fire in the fireplace.
  7. The fire went out and he had to light it again.

Origin of FIRE

Middle English, from Old English fȳr; akin to Old High German fiur fire, Greek pyr
First Known Use: before 12th century



: to shoot a weapon

: to throw (something) with speed and force

: to give life or energy to (something or someone)


Full Definition of FIRE

transitive verb
a :  to set on fire :  kindle; also :  ignite <fire a rocket engine>
b (1) :  to give life or spirit to :  inspire <the description fired his imagination>
(2) :  to fill with passion or enthusiasm —often used with up
c :  to light up as if by fire
d :  to cause to start operating —usually used with up <fired up the engine>
a :  to drive out or away by or as if by fire
b :  to dismiss from a position
a (1) :  to cause to explode :  detonate (2) :  to propel from or as if from a gun :  discharge, launch <fire a rocket> (3) :  shoot 1b <fire a gun> (4) :  to score (a number) in a game or contest
b :  to throw with speed or force <fired the ball to first base> <fire a left jab>
c :  to utter with force and rapidity
:  to apply fire or fuel to: as
a :  to process by applying heat <fire pottery>
b :  to feed or serve the fire of <fire a boiler>
intransitive verb
a :  to take fire :  kindle, ignite
b :  to begin operation :  start <the engine fired>
c :  to operate especially as the result of the application of an electrical impulse <the spark plug fires>
a :  to become irritated or angry —often used with up
b :  to become filled with excitement or enthusiasm
a :  to discharge a firearm <fire at close range>
b :  to emit or let fly an object
:  to tend a fire
:  to transmit a nerve impulse <the rate at which a neuron fires>
fire·able \ˈfī(-ə)r-ə-bəl, ˈfī-rə-\ adjective
fir·er noun

Examples of FIRE

  1. She fired the arrow at the target.
  2. He fired several shots at the police.
  3. He fired at the police.
  4. The gun failed to fire.
  5. The soldiers fired on the enemy.
  6. The shortstop fired the ball to first base.
  7. The angry mob fired rocks at him.
  8. The boxer fired a left jab at his opponent's chin.
  9. The story fired his imagination.
  10. She had to fire several workers.

First Known Use of FIRE

13th century

Rhymes with FIRE



Definition of FIRE

finance, insurance, and real estate

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite


biographical name \ˈfī(-ə)r\

Definition of FIRE

Andrew Zachary 1959– Am. geneticist


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Rapid burning of combustible material, producing heat and usually accompanied by flame. For eons, lightning was the only source of fire. The earliest controlled use of fire seems to date to c. 1,420,000 years ago, but not until c. 7000 BC did Neolithic humans acquire reliable firemaking techniques, including friction from hardwood drills and sparks struck from flint against pyrites. Fire was used initially for warmth, light, and cooking; later it was used in fire drives in hunting and warfare, and for clearing forests of underbrush to facilitate hunting. The first agriculturalists used fire to clear fields and produce ash for fertilizer; such “slash-and-burn” cultivation is still used widely today. Fire also came to be used for firing pottery and for smelting bronze (c. 3000 BC) and later iron (c. 1000 BC). Much of the modern history of technology and science can be characterized as a continual increase in the amount of energy available through fire and brought under human control.


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