open fire


Begin a verbal attack, as in In her second letter to the editor she opened fire, saying the reporter had deliberately misquoted her. This idiom alludes to discharging a firearm. [Mid-1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Example sentences from the Web for open fire

  • The book explains seven varieties of open-fire cooking that are done in a very simple way, which I respect.

    Fresh Picks|John Mooney|April 12, 2011|DAILY BEAST