or brush·fire

[bruhsh-fahyuh r]


limited in scope, area, or importance, as some labor disputes or local skirmishes.

Nearby words

  1. brush fire,
  2. brush flower,
  3. brush off,
  4. brush turkey,
  5. brush up,
  6. brush-footed butterfly,
  7. brush-off,
  8. brush-on,
  9. brush-tailed phalanger,
  10. brush-tailed possum

Origin of brush-fire

First recorded in 1945–50

brush fire


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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|Opal Whiteley

British Dictionary definitions for brush-fire

brush fire


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