bon·​fire | \ ˈbän-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce bonfire (audio) \

Definition of bonfire

: a large fire built in the open air

Examples of bonfire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All of the men were in the woods together making that bonfire and burning stuff. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021 The heat was more intense than sitting right next to a bonfire. Travel + Leisure, 19 Aug. 2021 The Fourth of July bonfire that started in 1853 and the American Legion Post and the bandstand?, 18 Aug. 2021 This firebowl takes the mess out of creating the perfect bonfire for family gatherings on the beach, at tailgates, and even at home in the backyard. Sha Ravine Spencer, USA TODAY, 22 June 2021 Each bite gave me a different image, a flash of some new place: a bonfire on a warm beach; a taqueria in a fishing village; a festival where piquant snacks are served out of paper cones. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2021 Checker Katie Megahee waited near the bonfire outside the Central Corner roadhouse Monday evening. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Feb. 2021 Since losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump has stoked an anti-democratic bonfire aimed at crippling the president-elect and clinging to power, fueled by wild conspiracy theories and nonsense. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Dec. 2020 But unlike the Downtown celebration the year before, when Milan had time to bask in the glory and pose for photos, the Attucks team made one quick lap around the Circle and a beeline up Indiana Avenue to Northwestern Park for a bonfire. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for bonfire

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near bonfire



Bonfire Night

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Statistics for bonfire

Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bonfire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for bonfire



English Language Learners Definition of bonfire

: a large outdoor fire


bon·​fire | \ ˈbän-ˌfīr How to pronounce bonfire (audio) \

Kids Definition of bonfire

: a large fire built outdoors

More from Merriam-Webster on bonfire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bonfire

Nglish: Translation of bonfire for Spanish Speakers


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