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firebug

[fahyuh r-buhg]
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noun Informal.
  1. arsonist; incendiary; pyromaniac.
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Origin of firebug

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75; fire + bug1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

incendiary, arsonist, pyromaniac

Examples from the Web for firebug

Historical Examples

  • You know they're after the firebug, an' you better watch out!

    The Girl Scouts at Sea Crest

    Lillian Garis

  • One more thing; if the fire had been set, was the firebug still about the place?

    The Firebug

    Roy J. Snell

  • And in all these fires the firebug had neither been seen nor traced.

    The Firebug

    Roy J. Snell

  • Johnny told of his new task and of his hopes of capturing the firebug.

    The Firebug

    Roy J. Snell

  • That firebug has burned school houses, a recreation center, the zoo.

    The Firebug

    Roy J. Snell


British Dictionary definitions for firebug

firebug

noun
  1. informal a person who deliberately sets fire to property
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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 firebug

n.

"arsonist," 1872, from fire (n.) + bug (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper