- limited in scope, area, or importance, as some labor disputes or local skirmishes.
Origin of brush-fire
First recorded in 1945–50
- a fire in an area of bushes, shrubs, or brush, as distinct from a forest fire.
- any small but persistent problem, as within a large organization, a department of a government, or between nations: border skirmishes and other international brush fires.
Origin of brush fire
An Americanism dating back to 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for brush-fire
The other man did say, A pit tea it was she could nt have had a little sight to see that brush-fire ahead.The Story of Opal
- a fire in bushes and scrub
- a minor local war
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