Definition of fire verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪər//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fire
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪər//
    he / she / it fires
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪəz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪərz//
    past simple fired
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪərd//
    past participle fired
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪərd//
    -ing form firing
    BrE BrE//ˈfaɪərɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaɪərɪŋ//
    Excitement, Unemployment, Artwork and techniques, Art equipment, Conflict
    jump to other results
  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. CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​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/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) 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 a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (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 British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy 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 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 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 an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle 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 See related entries: Conflict
  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 somebody to leave their job synonym sack We had to fire him for dishonesty. She got fired from her first job. He was responsible for hiring and firing staff. CollocationsUnemploymentLosing your job lose your job (British English) become/​be made redundant be offered/​take voluntary redundancy/​early retirement face/​be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancy dismiss/​fire/ (especially British English) sack an employee/​a worker/​a manager lay off staff/​workers/​employees (Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English) retrench workers cut/​reduce/​downsize/​slash the workforce (British English) make staff/​workers/​employees redundantBeing unemployed be unemployed/​out of work/​out of a job seek/​look for work/​employment be on/​collect/​draw/​get/​receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/​jobseeker’s allowance be/​go/​live/​sign (British English, informal) on the dole claim/​draw/​get (British English, informal) the dole be on/​qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation) be/​go/​live/​depend (North American English) on welfare collect/​receive (North American English) welfare combat/​tackle/​cut/​reduce unemployment See related entries: Unemployment
  6. make somebody enthusiastic
  7. 5[transitive] fire somebody (with something) to make somebody feel very excited about something or interested in something The talk had fired her with enthusiasm for the project. His imagination had been fired by the film. See related entries: Excitement
  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 gas-fired central heating
  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 See related entries: Artwork and techniques, Art equipment
  14. Word OriginOld English fȳr (noun), fȳrian ‘supply with material for a fire’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch vuur and German Feuer.Extra examples A dense volley of missiles was fired directly at the ship. He grabbed the shotgun and levelled it, ready to fire if anyone entered. He grabbed the shotgun, ready to fire if anyone entered. He ordered the troops to fire over the heads of the crowd. She fired a revolver at her attacker. She fired blindly into the mass of shadows. The police fired on protesters in the city centre. Whitlock purposely fired wide. A starter’s pistol fires only blanks. He was responsible for hiring and firing employees. Soldiers fired on the crowd, killing several people. The lecture had fired her with enthusiasm for the project. The speaker knew how to fire the blood. The stories fired his imaginationIdioms
    fire questions, insults, etc. at somebody
    jump to other results
    to ask somebody 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
    jump to other results
    (informal) using all your energy to do something; working as well as possible
    Phrasal Verbsfire awayfire somethingofffire somebodyupfire somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fire