bon·fire | \ ˈbän-ˌfī(-ə)r \

Definition of bonfire 

: a large fire built in the open air

Examples of bonfire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported a small bonfire was lit. CBS News, "Antifacists, right-wing groups clash during dueling protests in Portland," 4 June 2018 Fun stuff going on at the carnival will include ice carving, three-hole golf, kayak couple pulls, turkey bowling, a Christmas tree bonfire and, of course, food and drink specials. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The week ahead: 5 things to do in Lake Country," 1 Feb. 2018 Saturday events conclude with a picnic from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and a bonfire at 7:15 p.m. Sunday events open at 9:30 a.m. with a dedication of a memorial garden and walkway. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora church to celebrate anniversary," 12 July 2018 Group activities include bonfires, live music, lobster bakes, movie nights, and ice cream socials. Diane Daniel,, "More ways to camp in style at Sandy Pines," 10 July 2018 Activities include games for all ages, a bonfire, arts and crafts, a flashlight candy hunt and a continental breakfast. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From Lake Country to the North Shore, here are 26 fun ways to spend the middle of your summer," 26 June 2018 Some authors initially felt pride to have been included in such a bonfire, and Fishburn says that some book lovers in English-speaking countries expressed a certain wistfulness that in Germany books were thought to hold such power. Lily Rothman, Time, "The Real History Behind Book Burning and Fahrenheit 451," 18 May 2018 People prepared to celebrate with street parties and built bonfires to light on the day itself. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "I Was a Bridesmaid In Princess Diana's Wedding," 17 May 2018 Fowler said Jack was most excited about the bonfire and eating s’mores. Diane Dachota,, "Families camp overnight in Spring Rock Park," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bonfire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bonfire

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonfire

Middle English bonefire a fire of bones, from bon bone + fire

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Dictionary Entries near bonfire

bone whale




Bonfire Night



Phrases Related to bonfire

Bonfire Night

Statistics for bonfire

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bonfire

The first known use of bonfire was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for bonfire



English Language Learners Definition of bonfire

: a large outdoor fire


bon·fire | \ ˈbän-ˌfīr \

Kids Definition of bonfire

: a large fire built outdoors

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More from Merriam-Webster on bonfire

See words that rhyme with bonfire

Spanish Central: Translation of bonfire

Nglish: Translation of bonfire for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bonfire

What made you want to look up bonfire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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