fire·​bug ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌbəg How to pronounce firebug (audio)

Examples of firebug in a Sentence

after the second suspicious fire, police set a trap for the firebug
Recent Examples on the Web And an even handier rundown of fireworks laws in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana for you firebugs. Cincinnati Enquirer, The Enquirer, 4 July 2023 Rogers reviewed call logs to guess their likely next target and alerted officers, who nabbed the firebugs in action. Jennifer Brett, ajc, 28 Sep. 2019 Some, like the radiantly red firebug, mutate aesthetically, their normally symmetrical designs warped and fractured. National Geographic, 30 Apr. 2018 There’s also a young son who is a firebug — and a cliche. Mark Kennedy, idahostatesman, 14 Dec. 2017 The measured pace and minimalism isn’t for everyone, but the firebug’s escalating, evolving motivations keep the film engaging. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, 25 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firebug.' 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

1869, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of firebug was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near firebug

Cite this Entry

“Firebug.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


fire·​bug -ˌbəg How to pronounce firebug (audio)
: a person who deliberately sets destructive fires : arsonist

More from Merriam-Webster on firebug

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!