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

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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

Biden’s comments set off a firestorm among his political rivals and some political analysts, who described his language as offensive and anachronistic. NBC News, "Joe Biden didn't just compromise with segregationists. He fought for their cause in schools, experts say.," 25 June 2019 The June 15 arrest of Irby, first reported by LkldNow, set off a firestorm of criticism after it was revealed that Irby’s husband, Joseph Irby, had been arrested the previous day and accused ramming his wife’s car after a divorce proceeding. Michael Williams,, "Drop case against Polk woman arrested for giving husband’s guns to police, Orlando lawmaker urges prosecutors," 24 June 2019 Everyone knows the story of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the little engine that could in New York’s 14th congressional district, where her stunning primary victory over Joe Crowley set off a firestorm. Lily Herman,, "Yes, A Woman Can Beat Trump In 2020. Here's How.," 15 June 2019 That firing set off a firestorm of support on his behalf from players, boosters, parents and assistant coaches, who were still riding a 6-4 season in Taylor's first year after the Titans went 0-10 and scored only 29 total points in 2017. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Kerry Taylor will return as Arcadia head football coach nearly two weeks after firing," 6 June 2019 Hamlin added that his goal from the beginning was to make sure Genius did not get life in prison. Caprio’s murder set off a firestorm of debate. Mckenna Oxenden,, "Three remaining teens plead guilty in death of Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio," 3 June 2019 But word leaked out, sparking a firestorm of protest from animal lovers all over the country worried the geese would be killed once they were removed. Susannah Bryan,, "City wants geese gone for simple crime: Pooping in the park," 5 June 2019 But that gets lost in her firestorm of Twitter tirades and skin lightening. Danielle Young, The Root, "Bad Publicity Only Works for the Kardashians," 15 May 2018 In the resulting firestorm, even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged his company would benefit from federal regulation. Hiawatha Bray,, "Is it time to lay down the law on the Internet?," 26 Mar. 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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Statistics for firestorm

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for firestorm

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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Comments on firestorm

What made you want to look up firestorm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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