see also: FIRE
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈfaɪə(ɹ)/
  • (GA) enPR fīʹər, IPA: /ˈfaɪəɹ/, [ˈfaɪɚ]
  • (Southern US, Appalachia) IPA: [ˈfäːɚ]
  • (AU) IPA: /ˈfɑeə(ɹ)/


  1. (uncountable) A (usually self-sustaining) chemical reaction involving the bonding of oxygen with carbon or other fuel, with the production of heat and the presence of flame or smouldering.
  2. (countable) An instance of this chemical reaction, especially when intentionally created and maintained in a specific location to a useful end (such as a campfire or a hearth fire).
    We sat about the fire singing songs and telling tales.
  3. (countable) The occurrence, often accidental, of fire in a certain place, causing damage and danger.
    There was a fire at the school last night and the whole place burned down.
    During hot and dry summers many fires in forests are caused by regardlessly discarded cigarette butts.
  4. (uncountable, alchemy, philosophy) The aforementioned chemical reaction of burning, considered one of the Classical elements or basic elements of alchemy.
  5. (countable, British) A heater or stove used in place of a real fire (such as an electric fire).
  6. (countable) The elements necessary to start a fire.
    The fire was laid and needed to be lit.
  7. (uncountable) The bullets or other projectiles fired from a gun.
    The fire from the enemy guns kept us from attacking.
  8. Strength of passion, whether love or hate.
    • He had fire in his temper.
  9. Liveliness of imagination or fancy; intellectual and moral enthusiasm.
    • 1709, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Criticism, London: Printed for W. Lewis […], published 1711, OCLC 15810849 ↗:
      And bless their critic with a poet's fire.
  10. Splendour; brilliancy; lustre; hence, a star.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iv]:
      Stars, hide your fires.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 12”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      As in a zodiac representing the heavenly fires.
  11. A severe trial; anything inflaming or provoking.
  12. Red coloration in a piece of opal.
Synonyms Verb

fire (fires, present participle firing; past and past participle fired)

  1. (transitive) To set (something, often a building) on fire.
    • 1897, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “At the House in Great Portland Street”, in The Invisible Man: A Grotesque Romance, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, OCLC 904345282 ↗, page 186 ↗:
      ["]Then I slipped up again with a box of matches, fired my heap of paper and rubbish, put the chairs and bedding thereby, led the gas to the affair, by means of an india-rubber tube, and waving a farewell to the room left it for the last time." / "You fired the house!" exclaimed Kemp. / "Fired the house. It was the only way to cover my trail – and no doubt it was insured.["]
    • 1907, Jack London, The Iron Heel
      It was long a question of debate, whether the burning of the South Side ghetto was accidental, or whether it was done by the Mercenaries; but it is definitely settled now that the ghetto was fired by the Mercenaries under orders from their chiefs.
  2. (transitive) To heat as with fire, but without setting on fire, as ceramic, metal objects, etc.
    If you fire the pottery at too high a temperature, it may crack.
    They fire the wood to make it easier to put a point on the end.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills, […] a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  3. (transitive) To drive away by setting a fire.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 144”, in Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before Imprinted, London: By G[eorge] Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be sold by William Aspley, OCLC 216596634 ↗:
      Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
  4. (transitive) To terminate the employment contract of (an employee), especially for cause (such as misconduct or poor performance).
    Antonyms: hire
    • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Penguin 2011, p.226:
      The first, obvious choice was hysterical and fantastic Blanche – had there not been her timidity, her fear of being ‘fired’ […].
  5. (transitive) To shoot (a gun or analogous device).
    We will fire our guns at the enemy.
    He fired his radar gun at passing cars.
  6. (intransitive) To shoot a gun, cannon, or similar weapon.
    Synonyms: open fire, shoot
    Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.
  7. (transitive, sports) To shoot; to attempt to score a goal.
  8. (intransitive, physiology) To cause an action potential in a cell.
    When a neuron fires, it transmits information.
  9. (transitive) To forcibly direct (something).
    He answered the questions the reporters fired at him.
  10. (ambitransitive, computer sciences, software engineering) To initiate an event (by means of an event handler).
    The event handler should only fire after all web page content has finished loading.
    The queue fires a job whenever the thread pool is ready to handle it.
  11. To inflame; to irritate, as the passions.
    to fire the soul with anger, pride, or revenge
    • Love had fired my mind.
  12. To animate; to give life or spirit to.
    to fire the genius of a young man
  13. To feed or serve the fire of.
    to fire a boiler
  14. (transitive) To light up as if by fire; to illuminate.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      [The sun] fires the proud tops of the eastern pines.
  15. (transitive, farriery) To cauterize.
  16. (intransitive, dated) To catch fire; to be kindled.
  17. (intransitive, dated) To be irritated or inflamed with passion.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adjective

fire (not comparable)

  1. (slang) Amazing; excellent.
    That shit is fire, yo!
  • Russian: клёвый


fire (uncountable)

  1. (economics, business) Acronym of finance, insurance and real estate: a class of businesses.
    • 2008, Özgür Orhangazi, Financialization and the US Economy, Edward Elgar Publishing (ISBN 9781848440166), page gbooks _IBAWevInNIC:
      As Figure 2.1 demonstrates, total income acquired by the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector has been increasing since the early 1980s. While in the 1952–1980 period, the share of national income that went to the FIRE sector hovered between 12 and 14 percent, by the 2000s it had approached 20 percent.
  2. (finance) Acronym of financial independence and early retirement

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