fire

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfī(-ə)r \

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 \

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 \ adjective

Verb

fireable \ ˈfī(-​ə)r-​ə-​bəl , 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

The temps may have been low on set, but Jennifer’s career with the NYPD is clearly on fire. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Former 'Blue Bloods' and 'NCIS' Star Jennifer Esposito Is Joining 'Law & Order: SVU'," 24 Jan. 2019 By the time the game is over you'll both be on fire. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "17 Foreplay Tips & Ideas You'll Be Dying to Try," 18 Jan. 2019 Also, even though the fires in California have been getting the most attention recently, many other states are affected by wildfires, which are only intensifying thanks in part to climate change. Rani Molla, Recode, "Recent East Coast hurricanes have gotten more media coverage than California wildfires," 21 Nov. 2018 While the captain later reported that the fire was contained, an explosion was detected a short time later. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Doomed Argentine sub found a year after its disappearance," 19 Nov. 2018 Around 250,000 people have been forced to evacuate, 31 people have died, and over 7,000 homes and businesses have burned down—and currently, the Malibu fire is only 20% contained. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "This Gorgeous House Was Destroyed By The California Wildfires," 12 Nov. 2018 Tactical delay Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Battlefield V delayed, Streets of Rage gets another sequel nearly 25 years later," 31 Aug. 2018 Security returned fire and Roberson detained the man. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "A black security guard caught a shooting suspect — only to be shot by police minutes later," 23 Jan. 2019 Unfortunately, using Windows 7 after support expires is playing with fire. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "For some, the glory days of Microsoft are ending in about a year," 18 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rivers remains close friends with former Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who was fired on Jan. 6. Joe Ziemer, The Seattle Times, "Healthy Rose, Teague lead Timberwolves past Clippers 130-120," 11 Feb. 2019 In the past, women have gotten fired from their jobs for wearing natural styles and young girls have been suspended from school. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Kelly Rowland's New Music Video Shatters Beauty Standards," 6 Feb. 2019 According to Vulture, Adam Targum, an executive producer on the CBS drama, was fired from the show on January 25. Megan Stein, Country Living, "An 'NCIS: New Orleans' Executive Producer Was Fired From the Show," 3 Feb. 2019 Dushku's story was revealed as part of the network's investigation of Les Moonves, the former chief executive who was fired after multiple women accused him of inappropriate conduct. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Eliza Dushku Takes On CBS Over Sexual Harassment Comments, Gets All Her Power Back," 20 Dec. 2018 Or there’s also Bryant as Roseanne Barr, who this year was fired from her own sitcom following a racist Twitter rant. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "SNL Joins the Search for a New Oscars Host," 16 Dec. 2018 The story leaves one wondering: Will someone be fired for Facebook’s role in all of this? Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Who does Facebook fire after a bombshell New York Times investigation?," 15 Nov. 2018 The agency said the suicide bomber had managed to penetrate the gate of the base on the outskirts of Maidan Shar, the provincial capital located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Kabul, even though guards fired at the vehicle. Amir Shah, The Seattle Times, "Afghan security service suffers heavy toll in Taliban attack," 22 Jan. 2019 Rather than send a signal out in a wave (think of the Wi-Fi symbol), a beamforming antenna can locate where the tower is and will fire a concentrated signal directly at it. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Don’t buy a 5G smartphone—at least, not for a while," 14 Dec. 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 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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