brushfire

adjective brush·fire \ ˈbrəsh-ˌfī(-ə)r \
Updated on: 11 Apr 2018

Definition of brushfire

: involving mobilization only on a small and local scale
  • brushfire border wars

First Known Use of brushfire

1954

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

brush fire

noun

Definition of brush fire

1 : a fire involving low-growing plants (such as scrub and brush)
2 : a minor conflict or crisis
  • putting out political brush fires

Recent Examples of brush fire from the Web

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

First Known Use of brush fire

1850

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Learn More about brushfire


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

unwilling or reluctant

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!