(1)   The act of firing weapons or artillery at an enemy
"Hold your fire until you can see the whites of their eyes"
"They retreated in the face of withering enemy fire"
(2)   A fireplace in which a relatively small fire is burning
"They sat by the fire and talked"
(3)   Intense adverse criticism
"Clinton directed his fire at the Republican Party"
"The government has come under attack"
"Don't give me any flak"
(4)   The event of something burning (often destructive)
"They lost everything in the fire"
(5)   A severe trial
"He went through fire and damnation"
(6)   Feelings of great warmth and intensity
"He spoke with great ardor"
(7)   The process of combustion of inflammable materials producing heat and light and (often) smoke
"Fire was one of our ancestors' first discoveries"
(8)   Once thought to be one of four elements composing the universe (Empedocles)


(9)   Bake in a kiln so as to harden
"Fire pottery"
(10)   Destroy by fire
"They burned the house and his diaries"
(11)   Cause to go off
"Fire a gun"
"Fire a bullet"
(12)   Go off or discharge
"The gun fired"
(13)   Start firing a weapon
(14)   Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
"Arouse pity"
"Raise a smile"
"Evoke sympathy"
(15)   Drive out or away by or as if by fire
"The soldiers were fired"
"Surrender fires the cold skepticism"
(16)   Provide with fuel
"Oil fires the furnace"
(17)   Terminate the employment of
"The boss fired his secretary today"
"The company terminated 25% of its workers"



From < < < This was an inanimate noun, whose animate counterpart was . Akin to Old Norse , Danish , Dutch , German , Ancient Greek .


  1. A (usually self-sustaining) chemical reaction involving the bonding of oxygen with carbon or other fuel, with the production of heat and the presence of flame or smouldering.
  2. Something that has produced or is capable of producing this chemical reaction, such as a campfire.
    We sat around the fire singing songs and telling stories.
  3. The, often accidental, occurrence of fire in a certain place leading to its full or partial destruction.
    There was a fire at the school last night and the whole place burned down.
    During hot and dry summers many fires in forests are caused by regardlessly discarded cigarette butts.
  4. One of the four basic elements.
  5. One of the five basic elements (see Wikipedia article on the Classical elements).
  6. A heater or stove used in place of a real fire (such as an electric fire).
  7. The elements necessary to start a fire.
    The fire was laid and needed to be lit.
  8. The in-flight bullets or other projectiles shot from a gun.
    The fire from the enemy guns kept us from attacking.


  1. To shoot (a gun or other explosive propelled device).
    We will fire our guns at the enemy.
  2. To shoot a gun, a cannon or a similar weapon.
    Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.
  3. To terminate the employment contract of an employee, usually because of the misconduct or poor performance of the employee (as opposed to "make redundant" or "lay off", where the employee’s actions are not the reason for the termination); to expel one from their job.
    She should fire the employee that stole from the company.
  4. To heat (pottery, ceramic, etc.), usually in a kiln to make the clay nonsoluble or to affix a glaze.
    If you fire the pottery at too high a temperature, it may crack.
  5. To cause an action potential in a cell.
    When a neuron fires, it transmits information.
  6. To set (something) on fire.
    • 1898 "Then I slipped up again with a box of matches, fired my heap of paper and rubbish, put the chairs and bedding thereby, led the gas to the affair, by means of an india-rubber tube, and waving a farewell to the room left it for the last time.
    • "You fired the house!" exclaimed Kemp.
    • Chapter 20,
      "Fired the house. It was the only way to cover my trail—and no doubt it was insured."


See set on fire let off, loose , shoot, be given one's cards, be given the boot, be given the elbow, be given the old heave-ho, let go, make redundant, sack, throw out open fire, shoot
  • See also Wikisaurus:lay off