Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[bon-fahyuh r] /ˈbɒnˌfaɪər/
a large fire built in the open air, for warmth, entertainment, or celebration, to burn leaves, garbage, etc., or as a signal.
any fire built in the open.
Origin of bonfire
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English bone fire, i.e., a fire with bones for fuel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bonfire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us get to windward and see what they are doing on the other side of the bonfire.

  • As if he were not capable of controlling a raft or a bonfire!

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • She had a black smudge from the end of the beanpole, which had been in a bonfire, across her forehead.

    W. A. G.'s Tale Margaret Turnbull
  • If I should try just once to tell her what she ought to do she'd flare up like a bonfire.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Her face flamed at him, the bonfire's light when prejudice is burned.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for bonfire


a large outdoor fire
Word Origin
C15: alteration (through influence of French bon good) of bone-fire; from the use of bones as fuel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bonfire

1550s, from Middle English banefire (late 15c.), originally a fire in which bones were burned. See bone (n.) + fire (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bonfire

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bonfire

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bonfire