American English

Definition of fire verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fire
    he / she / it fires
    past simple fired
    -ing form firing
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to shoot bullets from a gun The officer ordered his men to fire. fire on somebody/something Soldiers fired on the crowd. fire something They ran away as soon as the first shot was fired. fire (something) (into something) He fired the gun into the air. fire (something) (at somebody/something) Missiles were fired at the enemy. Topic CollocationsWar and Peacestarting a war declare/wage war (on somebody/something) go to war (against/with somebody) cause/spark/provoke/foment/quell unrest incite/lead/crush/suppress a revolt/rebellion launch/mount/carry out a surprise/terrorist attack prevent/halt/represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/be on the brink of civil war enter/invade/occupy somebody's territory lead/launch/resist/repel an invasionmilitary operations adopt/develop/implement/pursue a military strategy carry out/execute/perform military operations/maneuvers send/deploy/station/pull back/withdraw troops go on/fly/carry out a reconnaissance/rescue mission train/equip/deploy army/military/combat units lead/launch/conduct an (air/airborne/amphibious) attack/a surprise attack (on somebody); an assault/a raid (on somebody) employ/use guerrilla tactics conduct/wage biological/guerrilla warfare fight/crush/defeat the rebels/the insurgency suffer/inflict a crushing defeat achieve/win a decisive victory halt/stop the American/German advance order/force a retreatfighting join/serve in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines/Coast Guard/reserves be/go/remain/serve on active duty do/complete/return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/strike/engage/defeat/kill/destroy the enemy witness/see/report/be engaged in heavy fighting call for/be met with armed resistance come under heavy/machine-gun/mortar fire fire a machine gun/mortar shells/rockets (at somebody/something) shoot a rifle/a pistol/bullets/missiles launch/fire a(n) cruise/ballistic/anti-tank missile use biological/chemical/nuclear weapons inflict/suffer/sustain heavy losses/casualties be hit/killed by enemy/friendly/artillery fire become/be held as/be taken as a prisoner of warcivilians in war harm/kill/target/protect innocent/unarmed civilians cause/avoid/limit/minimize civilian casualties/collateral damage impose/enforce/lift a curfew engage in/be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to a concentration/an internment camp accept/house/resettle/turn away refugees fleeing from war fear/threaten military/violent reprisals commit/be accused of war crimes/crimes against humanity/genocidemaking peace make/bring/win/achieve/maintain/promote peace call for/negotiate/broker/declare a ceasefire/a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/bring/put an end to hostilities demand/negotiate/accept the surrender of somebody/something establish/send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/conclude/ratify/sign/accept/reject/break/violate a peace treaty
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] (of a gun) to shoot bullets out We heard the sound of guns firing. fire something A starter's pistol fires only blanks.
  3. 3[transitive] fire something to shoot an arrow She fired an arrow at the target.
  4. from job
  5. 4[transitive] fire somebody to force someone to leave their job synonym dismiss We had to fire him for dishonesty. She got fired from her first job. He was responsible for hiring and firing staff. Topic CollocationsUnemploymentlosing your job lose/quit/leave your job get/be fired/ (informal) laid off/ (formal) terminated/asked to resign (for doing something) be offered/take early retirement face/be threatened with dismissal dismiss/fire an employee/a worker/a manager lay off staff/workers/employees cut/reduce/downsize the workforcebeing unemployed be unemployed/out of work/out of a job look for/seek work/employment be on/collect/draw/get/receive unemployment (benefits) claim/draw/get/be on/qualify for unemployment (compensation) be/go/live/depend on welfare collect/receive/apply for/qualify for welfare combat/tackle/cut/reduce unemployment
  6. make someone enthusiastic
  7. 5[transitive] fire somebody (with something) to make someone feel very excited about something or interested in something The talk had fired her with enthusiasm for the project. His imagination was fired by the film.
  8. of engine
  9. 6[intransitive] when an engine fires, an electrical spark is produced that makes the fuel burn and the engine start to work
  10. -fired
  11. 7(in adjectives) using the fuel mentioned in order to operate a gas-fired heating system
  12. clay objects
  13. 8[transitive] fire something to heat a clay object to make it hard and strong to fire pottery to fire bricks in a kiln
  14. Idioms
    fire questions, insults, etc. at somebody
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    to ask someone a lot of questions one after another or make a lot of comments very quickly The room was full of journalists, all firing questions at them.
    working/firing on all cylinders (informal)
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    using all your energy to do something; working as well as possible
    Phrasal Verbsfire awayfire somethingofffire somebodyupfire somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: fire