fire wall


Definition of fire wall

1 : a wall constructed to prevent the spread of fire
2 usually firewall \ ˈfī(-​ə)r-​ˌwȯl How to pronounce firewall (audio) \ : computer hardware or software that prevents unauthorized access to private data (as on a company's local area network or intranet) by outside computer users (as of the Internet)

Examples of fire wall in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And virtual private networks, which had long been used to circumvent the fire wall, are becoming increasingly unstable amid Beijing’s crackdown on the tool in recent years. Jane Li, Quartz, "The biggest thing that happened in China on its National Day is mostly invisible in China," 2 Oct. 2019 Yogi was near the fire wall when a tangle of wires fell from above, knocking him off balance. Sean Flynn, Esquire, "The Perfect Fire," 9 Mar. 2017 Wahlen said the building at 1214 VFW Parkway is a loss, but a fire wall saved the adjoining building at 1216 VFW Parkway. John Hilliard And Felicia Gans,, "Boston battles three fires, including six-alarm blaze in West Roxbury," 12 May 2018 The wall in question was a fire wall owned by the city, left exposed after a Woolworth building was torn down by the city's Downtown Development Authority to make room for the Festival Square, Eustice said. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Cheboygan has the same happy bunnies as Royal Oak: Here's why.," 6 July 2018 Some fire doors don’t latch properly, fire walls aren’t maintained and some sprinklers don’t work, inspectors said. Washington Post, "US: Care lacking at troubled Washington psychiatric hospital," 27 June 2018 The telephone pole had penetrated all the way through the front end to the fire wall, and there were no skid marks,’’ according to the report. Joshua Miller,, "State senator enters alcohol treatment," 28 Mar. 2018 Zipperer made the letter public and Schimel fired Wall in April 2016 for advocating shredding public documents. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former corrections chief: Wisconsin's AG Brad Schimel 'completely botched' probe of teen prison," 2 Jan. 2018 Zipperer made the letter public and Schimel fired Wall for advocating destroying public records. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Wisconsin prisons chief says Brad Schimel's aide declined request for charges against Lincoln Hills guard," 8 Jan. 2018

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

circa 1666, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of fire wall was circa 1666

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Cite this Entry

“Fire wall.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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fire wall


Financial Definition of fire wall

What It Is

Firewall refers to the strict separation between banking and brokerage activities within full-service banks, and between depository and brokerage institutions as stipulated by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933.

How It Works

Prior to the Great Depression, investors would borrow on margin from commercial banks and use the money to purchase stocks. Following the logic that capital appreciation in the purchased stocks would offset and be used to repay the loan amount, this practice was legal and considered acceptable, particularly during the period of rapid growth experienced in the two decades prior. This practice, however, exposed ordinary depositors to high levels of risk because the banks were using their money to finance these loans.

The advent of the Great Depression in late 1929 led to numerous government-mandated reforms in the financial industry. The legislation comprised in the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 put an end to brokerage activities that compromised depositors' accounts.

Why It Matters

Named for the construction element that keeps a fire from spreading from one area of a building to another, the firewall provision comprised in the Glass-Steagall Act protects depositors from the high-risk environment of investment banking.

Source: Investing Answers

fire wall


English Language Learners Definition of fire wall

: a very thick wall that keeps fire from spreading
: a computer program or piece of equipment that keeps people from using or connecting to a computer or a computer network without permission

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Comments on fire wall

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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