- 1[uncountable] the flames, light, and heat, and often smoke, that are produced when something burns Most animals are afraid of fire.
- 2 [uncountable, countable] flames that are out of control and destroy buildings, trees, etc. The car was on fire. The warehouse has been badly damaged by fire. Several youths had set fire to the police car (= had made it start burning). A candle had set the curtains on fire. These thatched roofs frequently catch fire (= start to burn). forest fires Five people died in a house fire last night. A small fire started in the kitchen. Fires were breaking out everywhere. It took two hours to put out the fire (= stop it from burning). for heating/cooking
- 3[countable] a pile of burning fuel, such as wood or coal, used for cooking food or heating a room to make/build a fire a log/charcoal fire Sam lit a fire to welcome us home. Come and get warm by the fire. We sat in front of a roaring fire. see also bonfire, campfire from guns
- 4[uncountable] shots from guns a burst of machine-gun fire to return fire (= to fire back at someone who is shooting at you) The gunmen opened fire on (= started shooting at) the police. Their vehicle came under fire (= was being shot at). He ordered his men to hold their fire (= not to shoot). A young girl was in the line of fire (= between the person shooting and what he/she was shooting at). I'll give you covering fire while you try to escape. anger/enthusiasm
- 5[uncountable] very strong emotion, especially anger or enthusiasm Her eyes were full of fire. The fire seemed to die in him when his wife left. Idioms
nounjump to other results
a person who is full of energy and enthusiasm
a ball of fire (informal)jump to other results
a difficult introduction to a new job or activity
a baptism of firejump to other results
to be criticized severely for something you have done The bank president has come under fire from all sides.
be/come under/draw firejump to other results
to use similar methods in a fight or an argument to those your opponent is using
fight fire with firejump to other results
(of people) to become friends quickly and have a very friendly relationship
get along like a house on fire (informal)jump to other results
to delay or be delayed in taking action The project had hung fire for several years for lack of funds.
hang/hold firejump to other results
to be involved in several activities or areas of business at the same time, hoping that at least one will be successful
have several, etc. irons in the firejump to other results
giving you a painful burning feeling He couldn't breathe. His chest was on fire.
on firejump to other results
from a bad situation to one that is worse
out of the frying pan into the fire (saying)jump to other results
to act in a way that is not sensible and take dangerous risks
play with firejump to other results
(usually used in negative sentences) to be very successful and gain the admiration of other people He's never going to set the world on fire with his paintings.
set the world on fire (informal)jump to other results
if something bad is being said about someone or something, it usually has some truth in it
where there's smoke, there's fire (saying)jump to other results