fire·​wa·​ter ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce firewater (audio)
: strong alcoholic liquor

Examples of firewater in a Sentence

the bartender recommended a drink made with the local firewater, a potent gin
Recent Examples on the Web The response from a manager and a bartender toward dinner’s end was to introduce my posse to a Chinese spirit poised to make an appearance on the menu: clear firewater, potent as grappa, poured from a red-and-gold flask into thimble-size shot glasses. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2023 This cocktail is a tribute to Madonna, Queen of Pop, and features mezcal, passionfruit, firewater bitter, Amarena cheery, and a smoking cinnamon stick. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 12 Sep. 2022 Poitín is often called Irish moonshine, but that implies the crude firewater associated with American Prohibition-era bootleggers. Liza Weisstuch,, 23 Feb. 2021 The share price of Kweichow Moutai, China’s most exclusive brand of baijiu firewater, continues to soar, hinting at a thirst for luxury tipples among the super-rich. The Economist, 23 May 2020 The adult beverages are also pure Colombia, from the top-selling Aguila beer to the country’s official spirit, aguardiente (firewater!), to the sweetest-ever tropical margaritas. Allyson Reedy, The Know, 5 Sep. 2019 This version incorporates pineapple, allspice, falernum, spicy firewater, and a pinch of the superfood powder known as Blue Majik. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, 19 Feb. 2018 In January, Arcadia Publishing released North Carolina Moonshine, a book about the Tar Heel State’s role in firewater history, covering everything from the NASCAR connection to local moonshining celebrities. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, 10 Feb. 2017 Either is perfect with the grapefruit, lime, agave, firewater bitters and a Tajín-speckled cucumber slice. Michele Parente,, 18 Oct. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'firewater.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


fire entry 1 + water entry 1, after Ojibwa iškote·wa·po· "distilled liquor, whiskey" (from iškote·w-, form in combination of iškote· "fire" + -a·po· "liquid") or a cognate word in another Algonquian language

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of firewater was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near firewater

Cite this Entry

“Firewater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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