fire·​break ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌbrāk How to pronounce firebreak (audio)
: a barrier of cleared or plowed land intended to check a forest or grass fire

Examples of firebreak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For instance, animal trails have been proven to limit the spread of low-intensity wildfires by creating firebreaks. Curtis Abraham, Scientific American, 9 Sep. 2023 For 18 straight hours, Rennick and his crew fought alongside dozens of firefighters and heavy equipment operators to create firebreaks wide enough to catch flying embers. Omar Mouallem, WIRED, 23 Aug. 2023 Morritt, a journalist with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and her son took an evacuation flight some 950 miles west to safety in Whitehorse, Yukon, while her partner stayed behind to monitor their property, and help create firebreaks and fight fires. David Sharp and Jim Morris, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Aug. 2023 That money, in the form of a bill that would have funded new firebreaks, livestock grazing and water infrastructure for firefighting, was meant to ensure some safety from the nonnative and highly flammable grasses that cover a large part of Hawaii. Evan Bush, NBC News, 17 Aug. 2023 The immense labor force needed to maintain the firebreak dried up with World War II. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Nov. 2020 On Howell Mountain, vintner Randy Dunn recruited some volunteer heavy equipment operators to clear more than 2.5 miles of firebreak through the densely forested Wildlake Preserve. Esther Mobley,, 28 Aug. 2020 Any hope the fire department had of holding the fire line at Market Street ends by 9:30 am, when a new fire begins in a kitchen on the corner of Hayes and Gough Streets, deep behind the firebreak. WIRED, 15 June 2023 Shock collars can compel grazing cattle to create firebreaks in the scrublands of the American West. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firebreak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of firebreak was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near firebreak

Cite this Entry

“Firebreak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


fire·​break -ˌbrāk How to pronounce firebreak (audio)
: a barrier of cleared or plowed land intended to stop the spread of a forest or grass fire

More from Merriam-Webster on firebreak

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