From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. The evolution of light and heat in the combustion of bodies; combustion; state of ignition.

The form of fire exhibited in the combustion of gases in an ascending stream or current is called flame. Anciently, fire, air, earth, and water were regarded as the four elements of which all things are composed.

2. Fuel in a state of combustion, as on a hearth, or in stove or a furnace.

3. The burning of a house or town; a conflagration.

4. Anything which destroys or affects like fire.

5. Ardor of passion, whether love or hate; excessive warmth; consumingviolence of temper. he had fire in his temper.Atterbury.

6. Liveliness of imagination or fancy; intellectual and moral enthusiasm; capacity for ardor and zeal. And bless their critic with a poet's fire.Pope.

7. Splendor; brilliancy; luster; hence, a star. Stars, hide your fires.Shak. As in a zodiac representing the heavenly fires.Milton.

8. Torture by burning; severe trial or affliction.

9. The discharge of firearms; firing; as, the troops were exposed to a heavy fire. Blue fire, red fire, green fire, the process of softening or cracking the working face of a lode, to facilitate excavation, by exposing it to the action of fire; now generally superseded by the use of explosives. Fire ship, a vessel filled with combustibles, for setting fire to an enemy's ships. Fire shovel, a shovel for taking up coals of fire. Fire stink, the stench from decomposing iron pyrites, caused by the formation of sulphureted hydrogen. Fire surface, the surfaces of a steam boiler which are exposed to the direct heat of the fuel and the products of combustion; heating surface. Fire swab, a swab saturated with water, for cooling a gun in action and clearing away particles of powder, etc. Fire teaser, in England, the fireman of a steam emgine. Fire water, ardent spirits; so called by the American indians. Fire worship, the worship of fire, which prevails chiefly in persia, among the followers of Zoroaster, called Chebers, or Guebers, and among the Parsees of india. Greek fire. See greek. On fire, burning; hence, ardent; passionate; eager; zealous. Running fire, the rapid discharge of firearms in succession by a line of troops. St. Anthony's fire, erysipelas; an eruptive fever which St. Anthony was supposed to cure miraculously. St. Elmo's fire. See saint Elmo. To set on fire, to inflame; to kindle. To take fire, to begin to burn; to fly into a passion.

Origin: oe. Fir, fyr, fur as. Fr; akin to D. Vuur, os. & OHG. Fiur, g. Feuer, Icel. Fri, frr, gr, and perh. To L. Purus pure, E. Pure cf. Empyrean, Pyre.

1. To set on fire; to kindle; as, to fire a house or chimney; to fire a pile.

2. To subject to intense heat; to bake; to burn in a kiln; as, to fire pottery.

3. To inflame; to irritate, as the passions; as, to fire the soul with anger, pride, or revenge. Love had fired my mind. (Dryden)

4. To animate; to give life or spirit to; as, to fire the genius of a young man.

5. To feed or serve the fire of; as, to fire a boiler.

6. To light up as if by fire; to illuminate. [The sun] fires the proud tops of the eastern pines. (Shak)

7. To cause to explode; as, to fire a torpedo; to disharge; as, to fire a musket or cannon; to fire cannon balls, rockets, etc.

8. To drive by fire. Till my bad angel fire my good one out. (Shak)

9. (Science: veterinary) to cauterize. To fire up, to light up the fires of, as of an engine.

Origin: Fired; Fring.