light a fire under (someone)

idiom

US, informal
: to cause (someone) to move or work more quickly and effectively
I've never seen him work so hard. Someone must have lit a fire under him.

Examples of light a fire under (someone) in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But any scenes pairing Mendes with Olin and Tomei, both captivating performers in their respective roles, truly light a fire under the proceedings, making the dialogue crackle and the connective conflicts percolate. Courtney Howard, Variety, 7 Feb. 2024 And that will light a fire under emerging-market bonds. Brett Owens, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 But their actions did also help light a fire under striking actors who’ve showed up to picket across Los Angeles and New York City. Krystie Lee Yandoli, Rolling Stone, 19 Oct. 2023 That has the odds-makers favoring Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but divisional rivalries sometimes light a fire under the underdogs. Bychris Morris, Fortune, 12 Oct. 2023 Atlanta badly needed a power hitter, someone who could light a fire under the offense. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 21 July 2023 Even given these political differences, Bennet is holding out hope that discussing the history of the credit—as well as the impact of the 2021 expansion—will light a fire under lawmakers from both parties to get serious about the future of the policy. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 13 July 2023 See More

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

Dictionary Entries Near light a fire under (someone)

Cite this Entry

“Light a fire under (someone).” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/light%20a%20fire%20under%20%28someone%29. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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