a : consisting of or marked by fire b : using or carried out with fire c: flammable
: hot or glowing like a fire
a : full of emotion or spirit b : easily provoked : irritable
"As the game ended, he gave a fiery pep talk to his linemen, and on a brutally tough day, they appreciated it." (Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News, November 16, 2009)
Did You Know?
If you find yourself tempted to spell today's word "firey," you're relying on sound logic. "Fiery" was formed by combining the word "fire" and the "-y" suffix, so it is reasonable to expect that the result would be spelled "firey." At the time that the adjective was coined in the 13th century, however, the spelling of the noun had not yet become standardized. One alternate spelling was "fier." Presumably, it was this spelling that eventually led to English speakers settling on "fiery," even as the lone surviving spelling of the noun turned out to be "fire."
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