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fire up

Inflame with enthusiasm, anger, or another strong emotion, as in Her speech fired up the crowd in favor of her proposals. This expression dates from the early 1800s, when it referred literally to starting a fire in a furnace or boiler; its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.
Light a pipe, cigar, or cigarette, as in Do you mind if I fire up? [ Late 1800s ]
A more common term, however, is light up, def. 2.
Start the ignition of an engine, as in Whenever he tried to fire up the motor, it stalled. [ Mid-1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for fire up
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was an improved specimen; he could fire up a vertical boiler.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • Don't let him talk, and keep the fire up, that room is still like an ice-house.

    Doctor Luttrell's First Patient

    Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • I'll make the fire up, mother Chiquard; I'm getting jolly hungry.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • Nothing can happen to us if we stick together and keep the fire up!

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
  • Some in the madness of their rage began to fire up at their captors.

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