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

On Sunday night, a fire broke out in East Sussex's Ashdown Forest—the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Winnie the Pooh's Real-Life "Hundred Acre Wood" Suffers Forest Fire," 29 Apr. 2019 Well, because Epic came under fire this week for its labor practices around Fortnite. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: A first look at Vampire: The Masquerade 2 (sort-of) and Overwatch's new script editor," 22 Apr. 2019 The fashion community has rallied to repair Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral, following a devastating fire that raged on for over five hours on Monday. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Fashion Luxury Groups, Kering and LVMH, Pledge Combined 300 Million Euros to Repair Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 On late Monday afternoon, a catastrophic fire rapidly spread throughout Paris’s historic Notre-Dame—the medieval Gothic Cathedral and French landmark—causing both the spire and roof to collapse. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris Catches Fire," 15 Apr. 2019 The explosion, which quickly turned into a fire, was enough to wake some revelers. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Fire Just Broke Out at Coachella 2019 & the Footage Is Insane," 13 Apr. 2019 Even a small fire is enough to keep your front porch warm and your guests happy. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "A DIY Tabletop Fire Pit Is All You Need to Make Your Summer Dreams Come True," 11 Apr. 2019 The Kenyans returned fire and chased al-Shabaab fighters away. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "America’s Other Endless War: Battling al-Shabaab in Somalia," 17 Jan. 2019 Water apparently caused a short in one of the submarine's eight 120-cell batteries, causing a fire. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Doomed Argentine sub found a year after its disappearance," 19 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The episode had many events that got fans fired up — especially, the fight between Alex and Jo. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Are EXPLODING Over What Happened With Jo and Alex," 19 Apr. 2019 Now that the competition has moved on to the Battle Rounds, the controversial singing group has fans fired up all over again. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Sparks Outrage After Pitting the Trio Against 14-Year-Old Mikaela Astel," 26 Mar. 2019 The Burger Palette is launching spring 2019, just in time to fire up your makeup for the first BBQs of the season. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Glamlite Cosmetics Debuts a Burger Eye Shadow Palette to Follow Up Last Year's Pizza-Themed Launch," 11 Mar. 2019 The credits scene shows Manta and Shin making a pact: Shin will help Manta find out Aquaman’s true identity and repair Manta’s laser beam-firing helmet and Manta will reveal the secret of Atlantis to him. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman’s post-credits scene, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 One pilot fired his M61 Vulcan 20-millimeter Gatling gun, the F-16’s built-in weapon. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Dutch F-16 Flew Into Its Own Gunfire," 8 Apr. 2019 Going by the name Fifer, Paltrow reassured Baskin that she wouldn't be fired for any on-air mistakes. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwyneth Paltrow Just Made a Surprise 'Saturday Night Live' Appearance as a Goop Employee," 10 Mar. 2019 In 2010, the South Korean corvette Cheonan was ambushed and sunk by a North Korean midget sub firing a torpedo. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Iran Shows off Unusual Ship-Killing Torpedo/Missile Combination," 28 Feb. 2019 During that flight, the Falcon Heavy demonstrated the capability to send payloads directly to geostationary orbit by firing its second stage after a six-hour coast. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX nabs another contract, Vector cashes in, Vulcan delay," 26 Oct. 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

Statistics for fire

Last Updated

10 May 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

Comments on fire

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