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2017 Word of the Year

firebug

[fahyuh r-buhg] /ˈfaɪərˌbʌg/
noun, Informal.
1.
arsonist; incendiary; pyromaniac.
Origin of firebug
1870-1875
An Americanism dating back to 1870-75; fire + bug1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for firebug
Historical Examples
  • You know they're after the firebug, an' you better watch out!

  • And in all these fires the firebug had neither been seen nor traced.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • One more thing; if the fire had been set, was the firebug still about the place?

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • Johnny told of his new task and of his hopes of capturing the firebug.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • That firebug has burned school houses, a recreation center, the zoo.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • This woman might indeed be the “firebug” whom she and Jane had considered as a possibility.

  • The car was still there, but there was no sign of the firebug.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol

    Henry Harley Arnold
  • I saw one of them enter the old barn and wondered if the firebug was armed.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol

    Henry Harley Arnold
  • As he flashed by, the firebug raised his head and shook his fist at the plane.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol

    Henry Harley Arnold
  • They have been looking everywhere for the firebug, and offer a fifty-dollar reward.

    Airship Andy Frank V. Webster
British Dictionary definitions for firebug

firebug

/ˈfaɪəˌbʌɡ/
noun
1.
(informal) a person who deliberately sets fire to property
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
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Word Origin and History for firebug
n.

"arsonist," 1872, from fire (n.) + bug (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for firebug

firebug

noun

An arsonist; pyromaniac

[1872+; fr fire plus bug, ''maniac'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for firebug

13
16
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