fire·​storm | \ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌstȯrm \

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

The backlash has turned into a political firestorm, with high-profile members of Trump's own party calling for an end to the practice. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Raped as a child in Miami, he's facing deportation after testing positive for weed," 19 June 2018 And, no surprise, the famously glamorous actress, whose recent appearances with the pop star have already sparked a Twitter firestorm, has the perfect summer date night beauty look sorted. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Has the Perfect Lipstick for a Night Out with Nick Jonas," 13 June 2018 In the two years since his simple act of kneeling sparked a national firestorm, Kaepernick has become a prominent social justice advocate apart from his actions on the field. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Why we're not hearing much from Colin Kaepernick on the NFL anthem decision," 24 May 2018 Federal authorities say Eric Radulovic, 32, was upset about the August 2017 rally, which resulted in one death and ignited a political firestorm. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Avon man used 4chan to threaten white supremacists after Charlottesville, authorities say," 8 June 2018 The firestorm around Johansson has also put fresh scrutiny on a 2003 obituary about Gill published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Daniel Arkin /, NBC News, "Scarlett Johansson faces firestorm amid news she will play a transgender man," 5 July 2018 Last year’s massive firestorm that swept through Northern California wine country scorched at least 245,000 acres, killing 44 people and destroying roughly 8,400 homes and other buildings. Sarah Parvini,, "Wildfire in Yolo County spreads to 44,500 acres; only 3% containment," 2 July 2018 Another hotshot, Brendon McDonough, the only member of the 20-man crew to survive the fatal firestorm in 2013, was not seen at the memorial. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Prescott, still healing, honors 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots five years later," 30 June 2018 After a firestorm of outrage at her last border-visit outfit, Melania Trump played it visibly safe with her wardrobe choice for her second visit on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "What Melania Trump wore for her second trip to the border," 28 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of firestorm

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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The first known use of firestorm was in 1945

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English Language Learners Definition of firestorm

: a very large fire that destroys everything in its path and produces powerful winds

: a large amount of anger and criticism

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a private place of worship

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