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 In a bonfire on earth, for instance, temperatures are highest at the source and decrease further away from the blaze. Nola Taylor Redd, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Three New Tools Will Revolutionize Our Understanding of the Sun," 28 Aug. 2020 The crowning event and spectacle of the festival is a large bonfire, in which the figure of a man is burned. Longreads, "Your Wilderness Is Not Permanent," 10 Aug. 2020 So yes – this bonfire is basically a flaming pit of toxins. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: New parents judged for setting limits on hospital visitation," 6 Aug. 2020 This keeps the fire from spreading but also helps prevent burning logs from rolling into the crowd if the bonfire collapses in an unplanned way. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, "Wild Fires," 9 Jan. 2017 Tell them outside around a backyard bonfire, or inside snuggled up together on the couch. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 50 things to do with your kids this fall during the pandemic in Wisconsin," 26 Aug. 2020 Later that night there would be a bonfire party deep in the woods. John Carlisle,, "On remote Beaver Island, small-town life is preserved," 21 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for bonfire

Last Updated

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bonfire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for bonfire


How to pronounce bonfire (audio)

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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