[fahyuh r-bawl]


a ball of fire, as the sun; a shooting star.
a luminous meteor, sometimes exploding.
lightning having the appearance of a globe of fire; ball lightning.
the highly luminous central portion of a nuclear explosion.
a ball filled with explosive or combustible material, used as a projectile to injure the enemy by explosion or to set fire to their works.
Informal. an exceptionally energetic or ambitious person.

Origin of fireball

First recorded in 1545–55; fire + ball1




Sir Charles George Douglas,1860–1943, Canadian poet and novelist.
Elizabeth Mad·ox [mad-uh ks] /ˈmæd əks/, 1886–1941, U.S. poet and novelist.
Frederick Sleigh [sley] /sleɪ/, EarlBobs Bahadur, 1832–1914, British field marshal.
GlennFireball, 1929–64, U.S. racing-car driver.
Kenneth (Lewis),1885–1957, U.S. novelist and essayist.
Oral,1918–2009, U.S. evangelist.
Owen Jo·se·phus [joh-see-fuh s] /dʒoʊˈsi fəs/, 1875–1955, U.S. jurist: associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1930–45.
Richard John,born 1943, U.S. molecular biologist, born in England: Nobel prize 1993. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fireball

Contemporary Examples of fireball

Historical Examples of fireball

  • Put him in irons until we are ready to transfer to the Fireball.

    Unwise Child

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • A fireball, which is an unusually lurid type of shooting star.

    Creatures of the Abyss

    Murray Leinster

  • Eventually the fireball made its exit from the room through a keyhole!

    Thunder and Lightning

    Camille Flammarion

  • This probably refers to an unusually large “bolide” or “fireball.”

  • There's no concussion in vacuum, and the fireball won't reach here.

    Industrial Revolution

    Poul William Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for fireball



a ball-shaped discharge of lightning
the bright spherical region of hot ionized gas at the centre of a nuclear explosion
astronomy another name for bolide
slang an energetic person



Frederick Sleigh, 1st Earl. 1832–1914, British field marshal. He was awarded the Victoria Cross (1858) for his service during the Indian Mutiny and was commander in chief (1899–1900) in the second Boer War
Julia. born 1967, US film actress; her films include Pretty Woman (1990), Notting Hill (1999), Erin Brockovich (2000), which earned her an Academy Award, and Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
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

Word Origin and History for fireball

1550s, from fire (n.) + ball (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper