[ fahyuhr-weed ]

  1. any of various plants appearing in recently burned clearings, as the willow herb, Epilobium angustifolium.

Origin of fireweed

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; fire + weed1

Words Nearby fireweed Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use fireweed in a sentence

  • At peace on solid ground, I fell in love with the electric pink fireweed that popped out of nearly every opening in the trees.

  • Summer insects danced on the air, and a flock of white butterflies fanned the mobile tips of the crimson fireweed.

    Summer | Edith Wharton
  • On every side the country was bright with the purple fireweed, which had sprung up from the ashes as if by magic.

  • The fireweed, familiar everywhere in the mountains, shone like a tongue of flame against a background of green.

    Jack the Young Canoeman | George Bird Grinnell
  • And everywhere in the burnt areas was the fireweed, that phœnix plant that springs up from the ashes of dead trees.

    Tenting To-night | Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for fireweed


/ (ˈfaɪəˌwiːd) /

  1. any of various plants that appear as first vegetation in burnt-over areas, esp rosebay willowherb

  2. Also called: pilewort a weedy North American plant, Erechtites hieracifolia, having small white or greenish flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)

  1. an Australian rainforest tree, Stenocarpus sinuatus, having whorls of bright red flowers

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