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

Increased Arctic fires also add more carbon to the atmosphere accelerating climate changes. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Rare Lightning Strikes Detected 300 Miles From North Pole," 14 Aug. 2019 Sanvezzo had split two defenders with a quick move and then sprinted open to fire past Queretaro goalkeeper Gil Alcala. Ivan Orozco, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Xolos’ Sanvezzo scores against former team, but Tijuana falls to Queretaro," 13 Aug. 2019 Sanchez said crews from Ramona Fire, Cal Fire and San Diego County Fire extinguished the fire within a matter of minutes after their arrival. Ramona Sentinel, "Realty Road fire contained to one bedroom," 13 Aug. 2019 Ditches were dug in the floors for protection from enemy fire. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Alamo’s oldest wall being studied in ‘unprecedented’ digs," 13 Aug. 2019 Any cease fire between the United States and China will would be short-lived, El-Erian told CNN Business on Tuesday. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "'Messy politics' are a huge risk for the global markets and economy," 13 Aug. 2019 Glenn enjoyed spending time with family, sitting by the fire pit with friends, golfing and riding his motorcycle. courant.com, "Glenn R. Pelletier," 13 Aug. 2019 Tumbling team Milwaukee Flyers and a fire dancing group will both perform at the event for the first time this summer during Wednesday's market. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "NEWaukee Night Market adds tumbling team and fire dancers for Wednesday's event," 12 Aug. 2019 But while the fryer is well-utilized, this is an Argentinian restaurant, which means there’s fire. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Here's what to try at La Esquina Argentina, the East Valley's new Argentinian restaurant," 12 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

News video showed the officer drawing his weapon but no shots were fired. Amy Gunia / Hong Kong, Time, "Flights Resume at Hong Kong Airport After a Violent Night of Protests," 14 Aug. 2019 Well, most of Chongqing did, and now the police chief has been fired. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Chinese police chief sacked after his Porsche-driving wife explodes in road rage incident," 14 Aug. 2019 The Sun reports that a letter written by the university’s vice dean for faculty says Daniel Povey has been fired for jeopardizing student safety. USA TODAY, "Charlottesville remembered, drive-thru ban, ketchup karma: News from around our 50 states," 13 Aug. 2019 McLaughlin was subsequently fired, the complaint says. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana National Guard leader resigns amid lawsuit over retaliation," 12 Aug. 2019 The audience fell silent, before chaos ensued and Cushman was swiftly fired from the production. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy," 12 Aug. 2019 Two projectiles were fired early Saturday, a statement from South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff said. Yoonjung Seo And Ryan Browne, CNN, "North Korea fires another round of projectiles," 9 Aug. 2019 The department said 17 of the 20 assessments identified in the report were assigned to one staff member who was fired before the ombudsman’s investigation began. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "“So many kids getting hurt”: Sexual abuse and neglect ignored in rural Colorado county, report finds," 9 Aug. 2019 The same detector could also study neutrinos from the atmosphere or fired from an accelerator. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Resurrected detector will hunt for some of the strangest particles in the universe," 8 Aug. 2019

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

16 Aug 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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