verb (used with object), fired, fir·ing.
verb (used without object), fired, fir·ing.
- to discharge (as weapons, ammunition, etc.): Police fired off canisters of tear gas.
- to write and send hurriedly: She fired off an angry letter to her congressman.
- Also catch on fire.to become ignited; burn: The sofa caught fire from a lighted cigarette.
- to create enthusiasm: His new book did not catch fire among his followers.
- to be delayed in exploding, or fail to explode.
- to be undecided, postponed, or delayed: The new housing project is hanging fire because of concerted opposition.
- to fail to explode or discharge, as a firearm.
- to fail to produce the desired effect; be unsuccessful: He repeated the joke, but it missed fire the second time.
- ignited; burning; afire.
- eager; ardent; zealous: They were on fire to prove themselves in competition.
- to cause to burn; ignite.
- to excite; arouse; inflame: The painting set fire to the composer's imagination.
- to become ignited; burn.
- to become inspired with enthusiasm or zeal: Everyone who heard him speak immediately took fire.
- under attack, especially by military forces.
- under censure or criticism: The school administration is under fire for its policies.
Origin of fire
Related Words for fireinferno, heat, blaze, bonfire, bombardment, attack, explosion, light, force, shoot, explode, discharge, hurl, launch, oust, expel, drop, terminate, sack, combustion
Examples from the Web for fire
Contemporary Examples of fire
But what is there more irresponsible than playing with the fire of an imagined civil war in the France of today?Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
Lady Edith is so sad that her sadness nearly set the whole damned house on fire.‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith
January 5, 2015
A fire that he insists is only picking up pace, according to top-secret intelligence briefings.ISIS Fight Has a Spy Shortage, Intel Chair Says
January 2, 2015
An F-35 was destroyed on takeoff earlier in the year when a design flaw in its Pratt & Whitney F135 engine sparked a fire.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019
December 31, 2014
On Christmas Day, sometime after dark, a hideous fire overtook the venue: 100 firefighters, 33 fire trucks, a four-alarm blaze.The Fiery Death of Sotto Sotto, Toronto’s Celebrity Hotspot
December 30, 2014
Historical Examples of fire
Of course, we all like to play with fire, but I always put it out before it can spread.
Finally they had been compelled to fire on them, but had not killed any.Explorations in Australia
The tempest suppressed his voice, as it had put out the fire.
He had his revolver on the fellow in the instant, and yet he held his fire.Way of the Lawless
When I thought I had the unloaded one I called on you to fire.Viviette
William J. Locke
- a mass of burning coal, wood, etc, used esp in a hearth to heat a room
- (in combination)firewood; firelighter
- the act of discharging weapons, artillery, etc
- the shells, etc, fired
- to delay firing
- to delay or be delayed
- in a state of ignition
- ardent or eager
- informalplaying or performing at the height of one's abilities
- to ignite
- to arouse or excite
Word Origin for fire
Old English fyr, from Proto-Germanic *fuir (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian fiur, Old Norse fürr, Middle Dutch and Dutch vuur, Old High German fiur, German Feuer), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- (cf. Armenian hur "fire, torch," Czech pyr "hot ashes," Greek pyr, Umbrian pir, Sanskrit pu, Hittite pahhur "fire").
Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully displace Middle English fier (preserved in fiery) until c.1600.
PIE apparently had two roots for fire: *paewr- and *egni- (cf. Latin ignis). The former was "inanimate," referring to fire as a substance, and the latter was "animate," referring to it as a living force (see water).
Fire applied in English to passions, feelings, from mid-14c. Meaning "action of guns, etc." is from 1580s. Firecracker is American English coinage for what is in England just cracker, but the U.S. word distinguishes it from the word meaning "biscuit." Fire-engine attested from 1680s. The figurative expression play with fire "risk disaster" is from 1887; phrase where's the fire? "what's the hurry?" first recorded 1924.
c.1200, furen, figurative, "arouse, excite;" literal sense of "set fire to" is from late 14c., from fire (n.). The Old English verb fyrian "to supply with fire" apparently did not survive into Middle English.
The sense of "sack, dismiss" is first recorded 1885 in American English (earlier "throw (someone) out" of some place, 1871), probably from a play on the two meanings of discharge: "to dismiss from a position," and "to fire a gun," fire in the second sense being from "set fire to gunpowder," attested from 1520s. Of bricks, pottery, etc., from 1660s. Related: Fired; firing. Fired up "angry" is from 1824. Firing squad is attested from 1904.
In addition to the idioms beginning with fire
- fire away
- fire off
- fire on all cylinders
- fire up
- add fuel to the fire
- ball of fire
- baptism of fire
- catch fire
- caught in the cross-fire
- draw fire
- fat is in the fire
- fight fire with fire
- get on (like a house afire)
- hang fire
- hold one's fire
- hold someone's feet to the fire
- irons in the fire
- light a fire under
- line of fire
- miss fire
- no smoke without fire
- on fire
- open fire
- out of the frying pan into the fire
- play with fire
- set on fire
- set the world on fire
- spread like wildfire
- trial by fire
- under fire
- where's the fire
Also see underfiring.