[fahyuh r-ee-ter]


an entertainer who pretends to eat fire.
an easily provoked, belligerent person.
U.S. History. an early and extreme Southern advocate of secession before the Civil War.

Origin of fire-eater

First recorded in 1665–75
Related formsfire-eat·ing, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fire-eater

Historical Examples of fire-eater

  • He is the dandy of the company in real life, though a fire-eater on the stage.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • Where are the blankets and merchandise that bought the right of the Fire-eater?

    The Pioneers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • I may have been a fire-eater once—I may have been a gay young feller as could—; but no matter.

    The Lighthouse

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • “My, what a fire-eater my little Harvey has become,” she said.


    George Barr McCutcheon

  • It was quite evident that he was not such a fire-eater as Captain Stinger.

    In The Saddle

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for fire-eater



a performer who simulates the swallowing of fire
a belligerent person
Derived Formsfire-eating, noun, adjective
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