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

Guests gathered around the bonfires peppered throughout the park to toast their marshmallows and make S'mores at a table embellished with graham crackers, bags of marshmallows and wooden sticks. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "Here's What Went Down at Kanye West's #ProjectWyoming Brooklyn Pop-Up Shop," 8 June 2018 Every bodega radio, every cookout and beach day and late-night bonfire welcomingly offers it up, day after day, again and again. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Childish Gambino and the Search for the Summer Anthem," 12 July 2018 JUST A FEW decades ago, a backyard bonfire was considered fairly entertaining, especially the fun of transforming marshmallows into what amounted to cane-sugar briquettes. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "How to Build a Spectacular, Fragrant Fire," 16 May 2018 SE Crystal Beach and Bolivar Peninsula 27 miles of beach for camping and making bonfires. Houston Chronicle, "Where to pitch your tent and camp near Houston," 10 May 2018 Opportunities include a family canoe trip, inclusive of on-shore games, as well as a brand new canoe-and-dine pairing where paddlers are invited to enjoy a 90-minute paddling excursion followed by a full meal concluding in s’mores around a bonfire. Grace Dickinson,, "Where to rent and use kayaks and canoes in and near Philadelphia," 22 June 2018 As everyone gathered around the luminous bonfire, the employees of the ranch added more wood to intensify the mood of the listening party. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Kanye West Throws Star-Studded Album Listening Party For 'Ye' In Wyoming," 1 June 2018 In the evenings, volunteers gathered around a bonfire with local boys who were living on a farm run by the charity, Godt said. Aimee Ortiz,, "Amherst College student was murdered in Mexico, family says," 5 May 2018 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

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

10 Nov 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).


noxious or harmful

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