firestorm

noun
fire·​storm | \ ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌstȯrm How to pronounce firestorm (audio) \

Definition of firestorm

1 : a very intense and destructive fire usually accompanied by high winds The Rooses' house and gardens were obliterated in the 1991 Oakland firestorm.— Craig Summers Black especially : one that is started by attack with nuclear or incendiary weapons and that creates a powerful updraft which causes very strong inrushing winds to develop in the surrounding area His goal was to create firestorms like the ones that had consumed Hamburg and Dresden, conflagrations so vast and intense that nothing could survive them … — David M. Kennedy
2a : a sudden or violent outburst a firestorm of public protest
b : a raging controversy a political firestorm

Examples of firestorm in a Sentence

The bombing left the city engulfed in a firestorm. His proposal set off a political firestorm. a firestorm of public protest
Recent Examples on the Web Unfortunately, Monday’s slow news day quickly pushed Stroh’s video to the top of for-you-pages, with the firestorm moving directly into her comments. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2022 The firestorm started when a social media user tweeted at restaurant chain asking for the return of spicy nuggets. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 13 Sep. 2022 Read more about the firestorm surrounding her death at The Week. Jeva Lange, The Week, 5 Sep. 2022 That’s left many local residents changing their minds about the race; still others greeted the whole firestorm with indifference. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Aug. 2022 The resulting firestorm led to the San Jose Unified School District rescinding recognition of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for excluding LGBTQ students in violation of the district’s nondiscrimination policy. Kevin Rectorstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2022 Grant’s hiring was actually announced last week — but the firestorm around his appointment didn’t start until after the law went into effect on Tuesday, drawing global attention. Karina Tsui, Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2022 But as much as the immediate firestorm of commentary was predictable, the truth is the political implications are not yet known. Douglas Heye, CNN, 9 Aug. 2022 The legal and ethical firestorm against such firms will undoubtedly be intense. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 16 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'firestorm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of firestorm

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About firestorm

Time Traveler for firestorm

Time Traveler

The first known use of firestorm was in 1945

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near firestorm

fire-stop

firestorm

fire superiority

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for firestorm

Last Updated

24 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Firestorm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firestorm. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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