Meaning of FIRE in English

I. ˈfi(-ə)r noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fȳr; akin to Old High German fiur fire, Greek pyr

Date: before 12th century



(1) : the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat

(2) : one of the four elements of the alchemists


(1) : burning passion : ardor

(2) : liveliness of imagination : inspiration


a. : fuel in a state of combustion (as on a hearth)

b. British : a small gas or electric space heater


a. : a destructive burning (as of a building)


(1) : death or torture by fire

(2) : severe trial or ordeal

4. : brilliancy , luminosity

the fire of a gem


a. : the firing of weapons (as firearms, artillery, or missiles)

b. : intense verbal attack or criticism

c. : a rapidly delivered series (as of remarks)

• fire·less -ləs adjective

- on fire

- under fire

II. verb

( fired ; fir·ing )

Date: 13th century

transitive verb


a. : to set on fire : kindle ; also : ignite

fire a rocket engine


(1) : to give life or spirit to : inspire

the description fired his imagination

(2) : to fill with passion or enthusiasm — often used with up

c. : to light up as if by fire

d. : to cause to start operating — usually used with up

fired up the engine


a. : to drive out or away by or as if by fire

b. : to dismiss from a position



(1) : to cause to explode : detonate

(2) : to propel from or as if from a gun : discharge , launch

fire a rocket

(3) : shoot 1b

fire a gun

(4) : to score (a number) in a game or contest

b. : to throw with speed or force

fired the ball to first base

fire a left jab

c. : to utter with force and rapidity

4. : to apply fire or fuel to: as

a. : to process by applying heat

fire pottery

b. : to feed or serve the fire of

fire a boiler

intransitive verb


a. : to take fire : kindle , ignite

b. : to begin operation : start

the engine fired

c. : to operate especially as the result of the application of an electrical impulse

the spark plug fire s


a. : to become irritated or angry — often used with up

b. : to become filled with excitement or enthusiasm


a. : to discharge a firearm

fire at close range

b. : to emit or let fly an object

4. : to tend a fire

5. : to transmit a nerve impulse

the rate at which a neuron fire s

• fire·able ˈfī(-ə)r-ə-bəl, ˈfī-rə- adjective

• fir·er noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.