wild·​fire | \ ˈwī(-ə)ld-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce wildfire (audio) \

Definition of wildfire

1 : a sweeping and destructive conflagration especially in a wilderness or a rural area
3 : a phosphorescent glow (such as ignis fatuus or fox fire)
4 : a destructive leaf-spot disease of tobacco caused by several strains of a bacterium (Pseudomonas syringae)
like wildfire
: very rapidly the news spread like wildfire

Examples of wildfire in a Sentence

The recent wildfires were made worse by the strong winds.

Recent Examples on the Web

The cash will no doubt be welcomed by communities who have long been waiting for aid to help them recover from disasters such as Californian wildfires and hurricanes in the Southeast. Alan Murray, Fortune, "The Dangers of Social Divisions: CEO Daily," 4 June 2019 However, days-long power shutdowns do not need to be the only response to wildfire and storm risks. Rachelle Chong, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Don’t let PG&E leave communities in the dark," 4 June 2019 Worsening mental health: Warmer temperatures, wildfires and air pollution are triggering post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse and depression. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "Climate change is seriously threatening human health," 4 June 2019 Names are the one thing hurricanes and wildfires have in common. al.com, "Why do we name hurricanes?," 4 June 2019 The House of Representatives on Monday by a 354-58 vote approved a final version of the bill, providing $19.1 billion in aid to states affected by disasters, including wildfires and hurricanes. Kate Irby, sacbee, "Wildfire relief bill on its way to President Trump’s desk despite Republican ‘no’ votes," 3 June 2019 As if that wasn’t enough, climate change will make disasters like hurricanes and wildfires more common. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Could Cost The United States Economy Hundreds of Billions Annually," 26 Nov. 2018 In a series of controversial tweets last Saturday, November 11, Trump blamed California forest management officials for the deadly wildfires and threatened to cut federal aid to the state to combat the issue. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Queen Issued an Official Statement to Donald Trump About the California Wildfires," 18 Nov. 2018 In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump blamed the ballooning deficit on wildfires and hurricanes in 2017, which resulted in $306 billion in damages, as well as on the need to fund the military. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump says there’s another tax cut on the way. We have no idea what he’s talking about.," 21 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wildfire.' 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 wildfire

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for wildfire

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for wildfire

The first known use of wildfire was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for wildfire



English Language Learners Definition of wildfire

: a fire in a wild area (such as a forest) that is not controlled and that can burn a large area very quickly


wild·​fire | \ ˈwīld-ˌfīr How to pronounce wildfire (audio) \

Kids Definition of wildfire

: an uncontrollable fire that destroys a wide area

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More from Merriam-Webster on wildfire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wildfire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wildfire

Spanish Central: Translation of wildfire

Nglish: Translation of wildfire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wildfire

Comments on wildfire

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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