Meaning of FIRE in English

I. ˈfī(ə)r, -īə noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English fir, fire, from Old English fȳr; akin to Old High German fiur fire, Old Norse fȳrr, fūrr, funi, Gothic fon, Umbrian pir, Greek pyr, Armenian hur fire, torch


a. : the phenomenon of combustion as manifested in light, flame, and heat and in heating, destroying, and altering effects : ignition

b. : one of the four elements of the alchemists

c. fires plural : the heat, flame, or burning material of a specified place or thing

the deep internal fires of this volcanic region

the fires of hell


(1) : intense love or hate : passion

the younger men, the warriors, the new leaders who had fire in their hearts — Marjory S. Douglas

(2) : ardor of spirit or temperament : drive , courage , zeal , enthusiasm , fervor

the glow and fire of a faith that was content to bide its hour — B.N.Cardozo

(3) : liveliness of imagination or fancy : genius , inspiration , vivacity

color and fire were imparted to the works of the classic master — A.E.Wier

the force and fire of his oratory


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

warmed his hands at the crackling fire

stirred up the fire with a poker

— compare open fire

b. Britain : a small gas or electric space heater

electric fires designed for efficiency — Punch


a. : a destructive burning (as of a house, town, or forest)

engines clanging their way to the fire

b. : purposive destruction by burning — often used in the phrase by fire and sword

he was going back … to carry the city by fire and sword — Frank Yerby


(1) : death or torture by fire ; specifically : burning at the stake — used with the

forced the shocked prelate, under threat of the fire , to confess heresies he was not guilty of — G.C.Sellery

(2) : an experience that tests or tempers quality or character : a severe trial or ordeal

he had proved himself in the fire of battle

— often used in plural

workers whose ideas have been tested in the fires of performance — G.T.Trewartha


a. dialect Britain : fuel , firewood ; specifically : kindling

b. archaic : an inflammable composition or a device for producing a fiery display : fireworks


a. : a fever or inflammation especially from a disease

b. : a plant disease producing a burnt appearance — see tulip fire

6. : brilliancy , luminosity ; specifically : the play of prismatic colors in light flashes from a gemstone


a. : the discharge of firearms : firing

troops rent by a heavy fire

b. : intense and usually continuing criticism : verbal attack

atomism had come under the fire of the Socratic schools — Benjamin Farrington

the fire of his article is concentrated on the two hapless institutions — Nicolas Slonimsky

c. : a series (as of remarks) usually following closely one upon the other

they fell to, a running fire of comments going on all the time — Robert Keable

8. : the heating powers of a substance (as liquor)

with the fire of the drink melting the cold that was in the marrow of our bones — Mary Deasy

- on fire

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English firen, from fir, fire, n.

transitive verb


a. : to set on fire : set fire to

fired the house


(1) : kindle , light , ignite

the oven holds sufficient heat to fire a fresh charge of coal — American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

— often used with up

he fired up a cigar — Gilbert Millstein

(2) : to cause to explode by lighting or igniting

fired the train of powder

fire a mine

(3) : to cause (an internal-combustion engine) to start operation

(4) : to cause (an electron tube) to begin conducting a gas discharge


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

his description fired my imagination

fired his ambition for a college education

(2) : to fill with passion : inflame , arouse

he was fired by her fresh young beauty

d. : to light up as if by fire : illuminate

his eye had caught the flash of larkspur and snapdragons that fired the lawn — G.M.Smith


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

such surrender is above all things delightful … it fires the cold skepticism out of us — Virginia Woolf

b. : to discharge from employ or service usually peremptorily or summarily

fired him with one week's notice

also : to throw out or eject forcibly



(1) : detonate

fire a charge of dynamite

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

fire cannonballs

fire an arrow

fire a rocket

: discharge

fire a musket

(3) : to score (a certain number) in a game or contest (as golf or target shooting)

fired a 68

b. : to throw with speed or force : hurl

stripped to his shorts and fired the wet clothes into the corner of the closet — Charles Jackson

throwing clods at me by way of contempt and derision, and I fired back rocks — W.A.White

fired a long pass to the left end

c. : to utter with force and rapidity

fired questions at the prisoner

4. : to apply fire, heat, or fuel to: as

a. : to prepare (as ceramics) by applying heat : burn in a kiln

fire pottery

b. : to sear (the leg of a horse) with a hot iron in order to convert a crippling chronic inflammation into an acute inflammation that will stimulate the natural healing responses of the body

c. : to feed or serve the fire of

fire a boiler

: build a fire under in order to heat

unless you have lived by lamplight or fired a washpot in the back yard, you'll never know what electricity means — James Street

d. : to heat gently in order to dry

fire tea leaves

e. : to subject (a barnful of tobacco) to the drying and heating and combustion products of a charcoal fire for curing purposes

f. : to protect against freezing by the use of smudge pots

a freeze comes in and I must fire my young orange grove — Marjorie K. Rawlings

intransitive verb


a. : to take fire : kindle , ignite

damp gunpowder will not fire

b. : to have the explosive charge ignite at the proper time — used of an internal-combustion engine

c. : glow , redden

her features fired at the thought; she clenched her hands in anger


(1) of flax : to become covered with dark blotches

(2) : to turn yellow prematurely (as from drought) — used of corn or grain

2. : to become irritated : become angry or inflamed with passion

fired inwardly at these sarcasms — Tobias Smollett

— often used with up

fired up with a superb indignation — H.J.Laski


a. : to discharge artillery or firearms

fire at point-blank range

b. : to emit forcefully or let fly an object

as long as the tail is lowered, the skunk will not fire — Animal Trap Co. of American

the archers raised their bows but did not fire

4. : to undergo a change by the action of fire (as in the making of pottery)

iron-bearing clays fire to a red color

5. : to light or tend a fire (as in a furnace)

the ship's firemen went on strike, and there was no one to fire

6. : to ring all the bells in a chime at once

Synonyms: see dismiss

III. adjective

1. : involved in burning of the use of fire

fire building

fire floor

2. : relating to, used in, or concerned with fire fighting

fire bucket

fire district

fire hydrant

3. : fiery

IV. intransitive verb

: to transmit a nerve impulse

the rate at which a neuron fires

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.