• definitions


[ fahyuh r ]SEE DEFINITION OF fire


Of course, we all like to play with fire, but I always put it out before it can spread.

Finally they had been compelled to fire on them, but had not killed any.

The tempest suppressed his voice, as it had put out the fire.

He had his revolver on the fellow in the instant, and yet he held his fire.

By our efforts, we have lit a fire as well—a fire in the minds of men.

When I thought I had the unloaded one I called on you to fire.

Andrew, looking from the dull glimmer of his fire to that dead waste, sighed.

It made her interlace her fingers with nervous anxiety, but it set a fire in her eyes.

Hey, Scottie, shake up the fire and put on some coffee, will you?

"I had no gun," said Larry, without raising his eyes from the fire.


Old English fyr, from Proto-Germanic *fuir (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian fiur, Old Norse fürr, Middle Dutch and Dutch vuur, Old High German fiur, German Feuer), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- (cf. Armenian hur "fire, torch," Czech pyr "hot ashes," Greek pyr, Umbrian pir, Sanskrit pu, Hittite pahhur "fire").

Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully displace Middle English fier (preserved in fiery) until c.1600.

PIE apparently had two roots for fire: *paewr- and *egni- (cf. Latin ignis). The former was "inanimate," referring to fire as a substance, and the latter was "animate," referring to it as a living force (see water).

Fire applied in English to passions, feelings, from mid-14c. Meaning "action of guns, etc." is from 1580s. Firecracker is American English coinage for what is in England just cracker, but the U.S. word distinguishes it from the word meaning "biscuit." Fire-engine attested from 1680s. The figurative expression play with fire "risk disaster" is from 1887; phrase where's the fire? "what's the hurry?" first recorded 1924.



verbexcite, stimulate
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