fire

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfī(-ə)r How to pronounce fire (audio) \

Definition of fire

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat
(2) : one of the four elements of the alchemists air, water, fire, and earth
b(1) : burning passion : ardor young lovers with their hearts full of fire
(2) : liveliness of imagination : inspiration the force and fire of his oratory
2a : fuel in a state of combustion (as on a hearth) warmed his hands at the crackling fire
b British : a small gas or electric space heater
3a : a destructive burning (as of a building) The shack was destroyed by a fire.
b(1) : death or torture by fire He confessed under threat of the fire.
(2) : severe trial or ordeal He had proved himself in the fire of battle.
4 : brilliancy, luminosity the fire of a gem
5a : the firing of weapons (such as firearms, artillery, or missiles) The troops were ordered to cease fire. [=stop shooting] They opened fire on [=began shooting at] the enemy. also : the bullets, shells, etc., that are discharged The soldiers endured heavy fire. — see also friendly fire — compare counterfire
b : intense verbal attack or criticism His remarks have provoked heavy fire from his political opponents.
c : a rapidly delivered series (as of remarks)
on fire
1 : being consumed by fire : aflame The house was on fire.
2 : eager, burning He was on fire with enthusiasm.
under fire
1 : exposed to fire from an enemy's weapons The soldier showed courage under fire.
2 : under attack The company has come under fire for its discriminatory hiring policies.

fire

verb
fired; firing

Definition of fire (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to set on fire : kindle also : ignite fire a rocket engine
b(1) : to give life or spirit to : inspire the description fired his imagination
(2) : to fill with passion or enthusiasm often used with up
c : to light up as if by fire
d : to cause to start operating usually used with up fired up the engine
2a : to drive out or away by or as if by fire
b : to dismiss from a position
3a(1) : to cause to explode : detonate
(2) : to propel from or as if from a gun : discharge, launch fire a rocket
(3) : shoot sense 1b fire a gun
(4) : to score (a number) in a game or contest
b : to throw with speed or force fired the ball to first base fire a left jab
c : to utter with force and rapidity
4 : to apply fire or fuel to: such as
a : to process by applying heat fire pottery
b : to feed or serve the fire of fire a boiler

intransitive verb

1a : to take fire : kindle, ignite
b : to begin operation : start the engine fired
c : to operate especially as the result of the application of an electrical impulse the spark plug fires
2a : to become irritated or angry often used with up
b : to become filled with excitement or enthusiasm
3a : to discharge a firearm fire at close range
b : to emit or let fly an object
4 : to tend a fire
5 : to transmit a nerve impulse the rate at which a neuron fires

Definition of FIRE (Entry 3 of 4)

finance, insurance, and real estate

Fire

biographical name
\ ˈfī(-ə)r How to pronounce Fire (audio) \

Definition of Fire (Entry 4 of 4)

Andrew Zachary 1959–     American geneticist

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Other Words from fire

Noun

fireless \ ˈfī(-​ə)r-​ləs How to pronounce fireless (audio) \ adjective

Verb

fireable \ ˈfī(-​ə)r-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce fireable (audio) , ˈfī-​rə-​ \ adjective
firer noun

Synonyms for fire

Synonyms: Noun

conflagration, holocaust, inferno

Synonyms: Verb

blast, discharge, loose, shoot, squeeze off

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Examples of fire in a Sentence

Noun

Stay away from the fire. The shack was destroyed by a fire. Two people died in that terrible fire. How did the fire start? We warmed our hands over the fire. She built a fire in the fireplace. The fire went out and he had to light it again.

Verb

She fired the arrow at the target. He fired several shots at the police. He fired at the police. The gun failed to fire. The soldiers fired on the enemy. The shortstop fired the ball to first base. The angry mob fired rocks at him. The boxer fired a left jab at his opponent's chin. The story fired his imagination. She had to fire several workers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Don't spray near grills, candles, lit cigarettes, or open flames, and make sure your skins is thoroughly dry before approaching any sources of fire . Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Use Spray Sunscreen the Right Way, According to Dermatologists," 15 Feb. 2019 Lithium batteries, like the ones that powered Raden luggage, were starting fires on planes, and in December 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration announced passengers couldn’t fly with smart luggage whose batteries weren’t removable. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "When the “best” busts: the spectacular rise and fall of smart luggage startup Raden," 12 Dec. 2018 If your oven catches on fire, keep the door closed, turn off the heat immediately, and call 911. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "This Is Exactly How To Put Out A Grease Fire," 22 Nov. 2018 Take the case of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which the FAA grounded in 2013—in its first year of service—following a string of incidents in which the plane’s lithium batteries caught fire. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Often Do New Airplanes Have Problems?," 2 Nov. 2018 For dryers, that means cleaning out the lint trap on the regular (which also reduces the risk of a fire). Kaitlin Clark, Curbed, "How long household appliances should last," 1 Nov. 2018 Unfortunately, the pretensioners in certain Ford F-150 models produced since 2014—about two million in total—are at risk of starting a fire. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Seat belt fires spark recall of two million Ford F-150 trucks," 6 Sep. 2018 Just remember, wet wood tends to generate more smoke, which makes sitting around the fire a lot less fun. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "Winter Camping: How To Get Outdoors When It's Freezing Cold," 14 Feb. 2019 As the night cooled, guests migrated around the fire of the hotel’s living room to hear Matt Costa play an acoustic set. Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "Nico Guilis and Hotel Joaquin Host a California-Cool Dinner Party," 25 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In a time when most action figures were little more than a torso and five twistable appendages, Boba Fett would come with a spring-loaded backpack that could fire a plastic missile. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 LiLi finished her song and the rest of the coaches fired more jokes after facing her direction. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "The Voice's Blake Shelton Was Awkwardly Accused of Not Knowing Gwen Stefani's Song," 26 Feb. 2019 Other improvements for 2019 include up-firing speakers and dual far-field mics. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Lenovo's ThinkPad T490 emphasizes display improvements in 2019 refresh," 24 Feb. 2019 The country has seen the largest protests since 2017, when 120 people died in clashes with national guardsmen and pro-government civilians who fired on the masked demonstrators in middle-class neighborhoods. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 The mother and her daughters were still in pajamas, making a coffee run and preparing for their Sunday dinner, when the shooter drove up and open fired, CNN reported. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "A Gunman Opened Fire on a Black Family, Killing 7-Year-Old Jazmine Barnes," 2 Jan. 2019 Gunn’s firing launched a flurry of pieces about deleting tweets. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The year of deleted tweets," 27 Dec. 2018 The allegations also resulted in Spacey being fired from the Netflix show House of Cards, a role that had netted him several Emmy nominations as well as a Golden Globe. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 One officer fired a stun gun at Maynard and the other fatally shot him from about 5 or 6 feet (1.5 meters or 1.8 meters) away, Ayers said. Fox News, "Chief: Officer kills man accused of killing Georgia officer," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fire.' 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 fire

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b(1)

History and Etymology for fire

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English fȳr; akin to Old High German fiur fire, Greek pyr

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Learn More about fire

Dictionary Entries near fire

firca

fir club moss

Firdawsī

fire

FIRE

Fire

fire agriculture

Statistics for fire

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fire

The first known use of fire was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fire

fire

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the light and heat and especially the flame produced by burning
: an occurrence in which something burns : the destruction of something (such as a building or a forest) by fire
: a controlled occurrence of fire created by burning something (such as wood or gas) in a special area (such as in a fireplace or stove)

fire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fire (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shoot a weapon
: to throw (something) with speed and force
: to give life or energy to (something or someone)

fire

noun
\ ˈfīr How to pronounce fire (audio) \

Kids Definition of fire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the light and heat and especially the flame produced by burning
2 : fuel that is burning in a controlled setting (as in a fireplace)
3 : the destructive burning of something (as a building)
4 : the shooting of weapons rifle fire
on fire
: actively burning
under fire
1 : exposed to the firing of enemy guns
2 : under attack

fire

verb
fired; firing

Kids Definition of fire (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : shoot entry 1 sense 2 fire a gun
2 : to dismiss from employment He was fired from his job.
3 : excite sense 1, stir It's a story to fire the imagination.
4 : to subject to great heat fire pottery
5 : to set off : explode fire a firecracker
6 : to set on fire They carelessly fired the barn.

fire

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfī(ə)r How to pronounce fire (audio) \

Medical Definition of fire

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: fever or inflammation especially from a disease

fire

verb
fired; firing

Medical Definition of fire (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to transmit a nerve impulse
2 : to sear (the leg of a horse) with a hot iron in order to convert a crippling chronic inflammation into an acute inflammation that will stimulate the natural healing responses of the body

intransitive verb

: to transmit a nerve impulse the rate at which a neuron fires

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More from Merriam-Webster on fire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fire

Spanish Central: Translation of fire

Nglish: Translation of fire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fire for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fire

Comments on fire

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