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

On a high school trip to Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, a group of teenagers sneak out at night to drink beer, smoke weed and gossip around a bonfire. Isabel Debre, Fortune, "Netflix's First Original Arabic Series, 'Jinn,' Stirs Up Outrage in Jordan," 21 June 2019 During the Slavic holiday of Ivan Kupala, long timed to the summer solstice, people wear floral wreaths and dance around bonfires. National Geographic, "What is the summer solstice? The answer might surprise you.," 20 June 2019 People around the world observe the change of seasons with bonfires and festivals and Fête de la Musique celebrations. Stephen Schneider, Quartz, "An astronomer’s guide to the summer solstice," 20 June 2019 On a high school trip to Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, a group of teenagers sneak out at night to drink beer, smoke weed and gossip around a bonfire. Washington Post, "Netflix’s first Arabic original sparks backlash on home turf," 19 June 2019 The mainstays are high-speed ski and snowmobile races, bonfires, and parties. Jack Greiner,, "Arctic Man festival leads to First Amendment challenge," 11 June 2019 As Kanye joyously paraded around the bonfire, partygoers joined in on the fun and began feverishly dancing alongside him. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Kanye West Throws Star-Studded Album Listening Party For 'Ye' In Wyoming," 1 June 2018 Meanwhile, European Pagans welcomed it by lighting bonfires and Native American tribes, such as the Sioux, would greet it with a ritual dance around a tree. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Need to Know About the Summer Solstice," 18 June 2019 Enjoy a tasty Berber dinner, then gather around a glowing bonfire for a storytelling session. National Geographic, "Morocco Family Journey: Ancient Souks to the Sahara," 17 June 2019

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



Statistics for bonfire

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce bonfire (audio) \

Kids Definition of bonfire

: a large fire built outdoors

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More from Merriam-Webster on bonfire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bonfire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bonfire

Spanish Central: Translation of bonfire

Nglish: Translation of bonfire for Spanish Speakers

Comments on bonfire

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food or victuals

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