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

As for wildlife, most animals didn’t leave during the fire, and those that did quickly came back. USA TODAY, "Penal farm to produce farm, music under the sea: News from around our 50 states," 16 July 2019 The deputy returned fire, striking 36-year-old Brandon Ray Stansel and 40-year-old Kelly Danielle Brumley, according to Snelgrove. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "2 dead in officer-involved shooting near Lake Jackson, deputy injured," 16 July 2019 Grab some headphones, fire up your earbuds, and enjoy Montgomery’s velvety voice. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Stranger Things' Dacre Montgomery Has A Poetry Podcast You'll Want To Listen To," 15 July 2019 Laguna Beach police, fire and marine safety personnel responded to Table Rock Beach at 7:40 p.m. after a report of three swimmers in distress, police Sgt. Daniel Langhorne, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach man identified as swimmer who died after being lifted from water off Laguna," 15 July 2019 Both suffered from questionable planning and poor execution, with Woodstock ’99 ending with fires, looting and a rampage that resulted in the destruction of an audio tower. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Woodstock, 50 years later, a landmark festival and a cautionary tale," 14 July 2019 The fire, which did not cause any injuries or damage to buildings, started just after 5 p.m., Fire Department spokesman John Baxter said. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "4-acre fire contained in San Francisco’s McLaren Park," 14 July 2019 Then developers drained millions of acres for agriculture, and caused all kinds of problems with runoff, fires and (in annual dry seasons) dust storms. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 Although the two sides recently brokered a temporary trade cease-fire, the U.S. and China are locked into divergent paths long term. Charlie Campbell/tianan, Time, "Foxconn Founder Terry Gou Wants to be Taiwan’s President—and a Go-Between for U.S. and China," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Paul Scholes fired the Red Devils in front within the opening eight minutes, before Mark Viduka pulled Leeds back into the game soon after. SI.com, "5 Classic Clashes Between Manchester United & Leeds Ahead of Wednesday's Pre-Season Friendly," 17 July 2019 When more officers surrounded the home and snipers set up on rooftops, Gerson fired eight rounds at two officers and into a nearby house. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Shooter prepped for ‘war with police’ gets more than 30 years in prison," 16 July 2019 The sheriff’s office said Friday that Kimball will be fired immediately, according to the paper. Fox News, "California sex crimes detective admits to assaulting girl, 15, in case he investigated," 13 July 2019 Authorities said police arrived and called out to the man, and shots were fired. CBS News, "Armed man killed after trying to throw apparent explosives at ICE detention center," 13 July 2019 Harvard Athletic Director Bob Scalise said the coach was fired for violating the university's conflict of interest policy following an independent investigation by the school. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Harvard head fencing coach accused of selling his home to the family of a prospective student has been fired," 9 July 2019 Nigel Farage, the tiresome head of the new Brexit Party, said that Darroch should be fired at once. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Trump Isn’t the Only One Who Should Be Embarrassed by the U.K. Ambassador’s Cables," 9 July 2019 Jeenah Moon for The New York Times Deutsche Bank began firing thousands of employees in Asia, Europe and the United States on Monday, moving quickly on at least one part of a strategy meant to arrest years of losses, scandal and decline. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Deutsche Bank Layoffs Begin as Workers Feel Turnaround Plan’s Impact First," 8 July 2019 Multiple shots were fired during the incident, but Johnson was only hit once, Davis said. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Police: 15-year-old shot, killed in Edgewood was targeted," 4 July 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

19 Jul 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

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