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 Now a young, autonomous Black woman is at the center of the firestorm. Essence, 7 July 2021 Checking rates across the world, none of the major markets seems to anticipate any sort of inflationary firestorm in the near future. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 25 June 2021 That news was a relief to Mayor Dean Trantalis, who has found himself at the center of a political firestorm of late. Susannah Bryan,, 22 June 2021 Six years ago, North Charleston Police were at the center of a national firestorm when video went viral of a 50-year-old African American, Walter Scott, being shot in the back while running away from police. CBS News, 6 June 2021 The 51-year-old Crump has been at the center of virtually every racial firestorm in the last eight years. John Blake, CNN, 22 May 2021 Nunes quickly found himself at the center of a political firestorm in Washington over his quick release of a controversial memo that dismissed the allegations and cleared the president’s campaign of any wrongdoing. Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2021 When Republican Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham died unexpectedly in early March from complications of COVID-19, the future of his seat touched off a political firestorm. Leon Stafford, ajc, 2 July 2021 But opposition from the right quickly blew up into a firestorm that was not entirely accurate. Peter Greene, Forbes, 23 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for firestorm

Time Traveler

The first known use of firestorm was in 1945

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Dictionary Entries Near firestorm



fire superiority

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Statistics for firestorm

Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Firestorm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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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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