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open fire

Begin a verbal attack, as in In her second letter to the editor she opened fire, saying the reporter had deliberately misquoted her. This idiom alludes to discharging a firearm. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • If the attack materializes, repeat volleys and trench mortar discharge and open fire with the machine guns.

    Handy War Guide for My Company Andr Godefroy Lionel Hanguillart
  • There on the hearth burned an open fire with a warm, warm rug in front of it.

    Here and Now Story Book Lucy Sprague Mitchell
  • They presently dismounted and carried them into an inn so that they might dry before the open fire.

    A Leisurely Tour in England James John Hissey
  • “You shall some day, dear,” said her mother, who was sitting sewing by the open fire.

    Chicken Little Jane Lily Munsell Ritchie
  • Instead of replying, Polly sat down in front of a small, open fire, putting her toes up on the fender.

    The Camp Fire Girls' Careers Margaret Vandercook

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