Definitions

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

  • n. An open recess for holding a fire at the base of a chimney; a hearth.
  • n. A structure, usually of stone or brick, for holding an outdoor fire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an open hearth for holding a fire at the base of a chimney

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The part a chimney appropriated to the fire; a hearth; -- usually an open recess in a wall, in which a fire may be built.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The part of a chimney which opens into an apartment, and in which fuel is burned; in a restricted sense, a place for a fire in which the fuel is supported on andirons or is placed upon the hearth.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an open recess in a wall at the base of a chimney where a fire can be built

Etymologies

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  • I believe in fires at midnight ---
    When the dogs have all been fed.
    A golden toddy on the mantle ---
    A broken gun beneath the bed.
    Silken mist outside the window.
    Frogs and newts slip in the dark ---
    Too much hurry ruins the body.
    I'll sit easy ... fan the spark
    Kindled by the dying embers of another working day.
    Go upstairs ... take off your makeup ---
    Fold your clothes neatly away.
    Me, I'll sit and write this love song
    As I all too seldom do ---
    Build a little fire this midnight.
    It's good to be back home with you.

    Jethro Tull

    July 16, 2009