from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A rapid, persistent chemical change that releases heat and light and is accompanied by flame, especially the exothermic oxidation of a combustible substance.
  • noun A specific instance of this change that destroys something.
  • noun A burning fuel.
  • noun Burning intensity of feeling; ardor or enthusiasm: synonym: passion.
  • noun Luminosity or brilliance, as of a cut and polished gemstone.
  • noun Liveliness and vivacity of imagination; brilliance.
  • noun A severe test; a trial or torment.
  • noun A fever or bodily inflammation.
  • noun The discharge of firearms or artillery.
  • noun The launching of a missile, rocket, or similar ballistic body.
  • noun Discharged bullets or other projectiles.
  • noun Intense, repeated attack or criticism.
  • intransitive verb To cause to burn; ignite or set fire to.
  • intransitive verb To illuminate or cause to resemble fire, as in color.
  • intransitive verb To start (a fuel-burning engine or a vehicle with such an engine). Often used with up.
  • intransitive verb To start or tend a fire in.
  • intransitive verb To arouse the emotions of; make enthusiastic or ardent. Often used with up:
  • intransitive verb To inspire or arouse (an emotion or the imagination).
  • intransitive verb To bake or dry by heating, as in a kiln.
  • intransitive verb To discharge (a firearm, for example).
  • intransitive verb To detonate (an explosive).
  • intransitive verb To propel (a projectile) from a weapon or launch (a missile).
  • intransitive verb Informal To throw or propel with force and speed.
  • intransitive verb To utter or direct with insistence.
  • intransitive verb Games To score (a number) in a game or contest.
  • intransitive verb To end the employment or service of; dismiss. synonym: dismiss.
  • intransitive verb To become ignited; flame up.
  • intransitive verb To shoot a weapon.
  • intransitive verb To detonate an explosive.
  • intransitive verb To ignite fuel; start.
  • intransitive verb To send out a projectile; discharge.
  • intransitive verb To propel or hurl a projectile.
  • intransitive verb Physiology To generate an electrical impulse. Used of a neuron.
  • intransitive verb To become yellowed or brown before reaching maturity, as grain.
  • idiom (between two fires) Being attacked from two sources or sides simultaneously.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English fir, from Old English fȳr; see paəwr̥ in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fier, from Old English fȳr ("fire"), from West Germanic *fuïr, a regularised form of Proto-Germanic *fōr (“fire”) (compare Saterland Frisian Fjuur, West Frisian fjoer, Dutch vuur, Low German Für, German Feuer, Danish fyr), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *péh₂ur (compare Hittite 𒉺𒀪𒄯 (paḫḫur), Umbrian pir, Tocharian A/B por/puwar, Czech pȳř ("hot ashes"), Ancient Greek πῦρ (pŷr, "fire"), Armenian հուր (hur, "fire")) and perhaps Albanian prush ("embers"). This was an inanimate noun whose animate counterpart was Proto-Indo-European *h₁ngʷnis, *h₁ngʷni-.


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  • Seethes with heat and power.

    December 19, 2007

  • It burns!

    December 19, 2007

  • Would some one put me out? I'm on fire.

    June 27, 2011

  • 15 hours ago.. guess hernesheir's a crispy critter by now. :(

    June 27, 2011