1 of 2


brush·​fire ˈbrəsh-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce brushfire (audio)
: involving mobilization only on a small and local scale
brushfire border wars

brush fire

2 of 2


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
In one incident at its test site in Pendleton, Oregon, a drone fell 160 feet and sparked a brush fire that stretched across 25 acres, as reported by Insider and Bloomberg. Sheena Vasani, The Verge, 28 Dec. 2022 Residents of a Bandera County subdivison who were advised to flee a brush fire were given the green light to return to their homes late Wednesday afternoon. Dennis Rudner, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Sep. 2022 In addition to blazes in Siskiyou County that consumed a neighborhood in the town of Weed and left two dead, firefighters were battling a brush fire Monday evening near Rodeo in Contra Costa County. Los Angeles Times, 5 Sep. 2022 Firefighters on Monday fully contained a brush fire that burned nearly 4,500 acres and destroyed 19 homes, including RVs, in rural East County last week, officials said. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2022 In addition to the possible tornado in Arkansas, high winds ahead of the storm system helped fuel a brush fire in Sevier County, Tennessee. Aya Elamroussi, CNN, 31 Mar. 2022 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate A fast-growing brush fire forced evacuations and the closure of I-5 near Los Angeles on Wednesday as California braces for the dual onslaught of a heat wave and Labor Day weekend travel. Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2022 Flames damaged at least two vehicles and a home, displacing a family of five, when a small brush fire broke out Thursday afternoon near homes and businesses just off Interstate 5 in San Ysidro, authorities said. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 June 2022 Several fire departments were called in to battle an extensive Nov. 24 brush fire that ignited on a hillside and came about 75 feet from a house. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1954, in the meaning defined above


1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brushfire was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near brushfire



brush fire

Cite this Entry

“Brushfire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?