Language: Old English
Origin: fyr


1 noun
fire1 S1 W1

flames that destroy things

[uncountable and countable] uncontrolled flames, light, and heat that destroy and damage thingsCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
start a fire (=deliberately make a fire start burning) set fire to something/set something on fire (=deliberately make something start burning) be on fire (=be burning) put out a fire (=stop a fire burning) fight a fire (=try to make a fire stop burning) a fire breaks out (=a fire starts suddenly) something catches fire (=something starts burning) a fire burns a fire goes out (=a fire stops burning) a fire rages/blazes (=a fire burns strongly for a long time over a large area) a fire smoulders (=a little smoke comes from a fire, when it has almost gone out) forest fire (=a very large fire in a forest) brush fire (=a very large fire in an area of grass) house fire
The warehouse was completely destroyed by fire.
Thirty people died in a fire in downtown Chicago.
Police think that the fire was started deliberately.
Rioters set fire to a whole row of stores.
Sparks from the fireplace could easily set the curtains on fire.
The house is on fire!
It took firefighters several hours to put out the fire.
Residents were evacuated when fire broke out in a block of flats yesterday.
One of the plane's engines had caught fire.
People were throwing water on the flames, but the fire was burning more strongly every minute.
A massive forest fire is still raging in western Java.

flames for heating/cooking etc

[countable] burning material used to heat a room, cook food etc, or get rid of things you do not want:
Can you put another log on the fire?
by the fire/in front of the fire
Come and sit in front of the fire.
a camp fire (=when you are camping)
make/build/start/light a fire
You put up the tent and I'll make a fire.
An open fire (=a fire that burns wood or coal in a fireplace) was burning in the front room.
Mr Trotter sat by the roaring fire.
the dying embers of the fire (=pieces of wood, coal etc that have almost been completely burned)

heating equipment

[countable] British English a machine that produces heat to warm a room, using gas or electricity as power:
a gas fire
an electric fire
turn the fire on/off
Turn on the fire, I'm cold.
turn the fire up/down (=make it hotter or colder)


[uncountable] shots fired from a gun, especially many guns at the same time:
Troops opened fire on (=started shooting at) the demonstrators.
These women did vital work, often under enemy fire.
The rebels agreed to hold their fire (=not shoot).

➔ be in the line of fire

at line1 (35)

be attacked

be/come under fire

a) to be severely criticized for something you have done - used in news reports:
Rail chiefs came under fire after raising train fares.
b) to be shot at
be/come under fire from
Our patrol came under fire from rooftop gunmen.


[uncountable] a very strong emotion that makes you want to think about nothing else
fire of
the fire of religious fanaticism

fire in your belly

a strong desire to achieve something:
Ali returned to boxing with a new fire in his belly.


be on fire

literary a part of your body that is on fire feels very painful

light a fire under somebody

American English spoken to do something that makes someone who is being lazy start doing their work

go through fire (and water) (for somebody)

old-fashioned to do something very difficult and dangerous for someone

fire and brimstone

RRC a phrase describing Hell, used by some religious people

; ➔ add fuel to the fire/flames

at add (9)

; ➔ fight fire with fire

at fight1 (18)

; ➔ get on like a house on fire

at house1 (13)

; ➔ hang fire

at hang1 (12)

; ➔ play with fire

at play1 (26)

; ➔ set the world on fire

at world1 (22)

; ➔ there's no smoke without fire

at smoke1 (5)
a big fire that causes a lot of damage: blaze, inferno, conflagration literary

someone whose job is to put out fires: firefighter, fireman, the fire department American English, the fire brigade British English
fire flame

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