from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A large fire built outdoors, as for signaling or in celebration of an event.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A fire in which bones were burned.
- n. A fire to burn unwanted or disreputable items or people: proscribed books, heretics etc.
- n. A large, controlled outdoor fire, as a signal or to celebrate something.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A large fire built in the open air, as an expression of public joy and exultation, or for amusement.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fire of bones.
- n. A funeral pile; a pyre.
- n. A fire for the burning of heretics, proscribed books, etc.
- n. Any great blazing fire made in the open air for amusement, or for the burning of brushwood, weeds, rubbish, etc. Specifically
- n. A fire kindled, usually in some open and conspicuous place, such as a hill-top or public square, as an expression of public joy or exultation, or as a beacon.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a large outdoor fire that is lighted as a signal or in celebration
Middle English bonnefire : bon, bone; see bone + fir, fire; see fire.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bonefire, bonefyre, banefyre ("a fire in which bones were burnt"), equivalent to bone + fire. Cognate with Scots banefire ("bonfire"). More at bone, fire. (Wiktionary)