/ ˈfaɪə(r); NAmE / noun , verb
[ U ] the flames, light and heat, and often smoke, that are produced when sth burns :
Most animals are afraid of fire.
[ U , C ] flames that are out of control and destroy buildings, trees, etc. :
The car was now on fire .
The warehouse has been badly damaged by fire.
Several youths had set fire to the police car (= had made it start burning) .
A candle had set the curtains on fire .
These thatched roofs frequently catch fire (= start to burn) .
Five people died in a house fire last night.
A small fire had started in the kitchen.
Fires were breaking out everywhere.
It took two hours to put out the fire (= stop it burning) .
FOR HEATING / COOKING
[ C ] a pile of burning fuel, such as wood or coal, used for cooking food or heating a room :
to make / build a fire
a log / coal fire
Sam had lit a fire to welcome us home.
Come and get warm by the fire.
We sat in front of a roaring fire .
—see also bonfire , campfire
[ C ] ( especially BrE ) a piece of equipment for heating a room :
a gas / electric fire
Shall I put the fire on?
—see also heater
[ U ] shots from guns :
a burst of machine-gun fire
to return fire (= to fire back at sb who is shooting at you)
The gunmen opened fire on (= started shooting at) the police.
Their vehicle came under fire (= was being shot at) .
He ordered his men to hold their fire (= not to shoot) .
A young girl was in the line of fire (= between the person shooting and what he / she was shooting at) .
ANGER / ENTHUSIASM
[ U ] very strong emotion, especially anger or enthusiasm :
Her eyes were full of fire.
- be / come under fire
- hang / hold fire
- on fire
- play with fire
—more at ball noun , baptism , draw verb , fight verb , frying pan , house noun , iron noun , smoke noun , world
fire (sth) (at sb/sth) | fire (sth) (into sth) | fire (on sb/sth) to shoot bullets from a gun :
[ v ]
The officer ordered his men to fire.
Soldiers fired on the crowd.
[ vn ]
He fired the gun into the air.
They ran away as soon as the first shot was fired.
Missiles were fired at the enemy.
( of a gun ) to shoot bullets out :
[ v ]
We heard the sound of guns firing.
[ vn ]
A starter's pistol fires only blanks.
[ vn ] to shoot an arrow :
She fired an arrow at the target.
[ vn ] to force sb to leave their job
SYN sack :
We had to fire him for dishonesty.
She got fired from her first job.
He was responsible for hiring and firing staff.
MAKE SB ENTHUSIASTIC
[ vn ] fire sb (with sth) to make sb feel very excited about sth or interested in sth :
The talk had fired her with enthusiasm for the project.
His imagination had been fired by the film.
[ v ] when an engine fires , an electrical spark is produced that makes the fuel burn and the engine start to work
(in adjectives) using the fuel mentioned in order to operate :
gas-fired central heating
[ vn ] to heat a clay object to make it hard and strong :
to fire pottery
to fire bricks in a kiln
- fire questions, insults, etc. at sb
—more at cylinder
- fire away
- fire sth off
- fire sb up
- fire sth up
Old English fӯr (noun), fӯrian supply with material for a fire , of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vuur and German Feuer .