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fipple flute
fipple pipe
fir clubmoss
fir cone
fir tree
fire alarm
fire and brimstone
Fire annihilator
fire ant
fire away
Fire balloon
Fire bar
Fire basket
fire beetle
fire bell
Fire blast
fire blight

Fire definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

FIRE, n. [The radical sense of fire is usually, to rush, to rage, to be violently agitated; and if this is the sense of fire, in coincides with L. furo. It may be from shining or consuming.]
1. Heat and light emanating visibly, perceptibly and simultaneously from any body; caloric; the unknown cause of the sensation of heat and of the retrocession of the homogeneous particles of bodies from one another, producing expansion, and thus enlarging all their dimensions; one of the causes of magnetism, as evinced by Dr. Hare's calorimotor.
In the popular acceptation of the word, fire is the effect of combustion. The combustible body ignited or heated to redness we call fire; and when ascending in a stream or body, we call it flame. A piece of charcoal in combustion, is of a red color and very hot. In this state it is said to be on fire, or to contain fire. When combustion ceases, it loses its redness and extreme heat, and we say, the fire is extinct.
2. The burning of fuel on a hearth, or in any other place. We kindle a fire in the morning, and at night we rake up the fire. Anthracite will maintain fire during the night.
3. The burning of a house or town; a conflagration. Newburyport and Savannah have suffered immense losses by fire. The great fire in Boston in 1711 consumed a large part of the town.
4. Light; luster; splendor.
Stars, hide your fires!
5. Torture by burning.
6. The instrument of punishment; or the punishment of the impenitent in another state.
Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Isaiah 33.
7. That which inflames or irritates the passions.
What fire is in my ears?
8. Ardor of temper; violence of passion.
He had fire in his temper.
9. Liveliness of imagination; vigor of fancy; intellectual activity; animation; force of sentiment or expression.
And warm the critic with a poet's fire.
10. The passion of love; ardent affection.
The God of love retires; dim are his torches, and extinct his fires.
11. Ardor; heat; as the fire of zeal or of love.
12. Combustion; tumult; rage; contention.
13. Trouble; affliction.
When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt. Isaiah 43.
To set on fire, to kindle; to inflame; to excite violent action.
St. Anthony's fire, a disease marked by an eruption on the skin, or a diffused inflammation, with fever; the Erysipelas.
Wild fire, an artificial or factitious fire, which burns even under water. it is made by a composition of sulphur, naphtha, pitch, gum and bitumen. It is called also Greek fire.
FIRE, v.t.
1. To set on fire; to kindle; as, to fire a house or chimney; to fire a pile.
2. To inflame; to irritate the passions; as, to fire with anger or revenge.
3. To animate; to give life or spirit; as, to fire the genius.
4. To drive by fire. [Little used.]
5. To cause to explode; to discharge; as, to fire a musket or cannon.
6. To cauterize; a term in farriery.
FIRE, v.i.
1. To take fire; to be kindled.
2. To be irritated or inflamed with passion.
3. To discharge artillery or firearms. They fired on the town.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: the event of something burning (often destructive); "they lost everything in the fire"
2: 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" [syn: fire, firing]
3: the process of combustion of inflammable materials producing heat and light and (often) smoke; "fire was one of our ancestors' first discoveries" [syn: fire, flame, flaming]
4: a fireplace in which a relatively small fire is burning; "they sat by the fire and talked"
5: once thought to be one of four elements composing the universe (Empedocles)
6: feelings of great warmth and intensity; "he spoke with great ardor" [syn: ardor, ardour, fervor, fervour, fervency, fire, fervidness]
7: fuel that is burning and is used as a means for cooking; "put the kettle on the fire"; "barbecue over an open fire"
8: a severe trial; "he went through fire and damnation"
9: intense adverse criticism; "Clinton directed his fire at the Republican Party"; "the government has come under attack"; "don't give me any flak" [syn: fire, attack, flak, flack, blast] v
1: start firing a weapon [syn: open fire, fire]
2: cause to go off; "fire a gun"; "fire a bullet" [syn: fire, discharge]
3: bake in a kiln so as to harden; "fire pottery"
4: terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position; "The boss fired his secretary today"; "The company terminated 25% of its workers" [syn: displace, fire, give notice, can, dismiss, give the axe, send away, sack, force out, give the sack, terminate] [ant: employ, engage, hire]
5: go off or discharge; "The gun fired" [syn: fire, discharge, go off]
6: drive out or away by or as if by fire; "The soldiers were fired"; "Surrender fires the cold skepticism"
7: call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses); "arouse pity"; "raise a smile"; "evoke sympathy" [syn: arouse, elicit, enkindle, kindle, evoke, fire, raise, provoke]
8: destroy by fire; "They burned the house and his diaries" [syn: burn, fire, burn down]
9: provide with fuel; "Oil fires the furnace" [syn: fuel, fire]

Merriam Webster's

abbreviation finance, insurance, and real estate

Merriam Webster's

I. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fy?r; akin to Old High German fiur fire, Greek pyr Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) the phenomenon of combustion manifested in light, flame, and heat (2) one of the four elements of the alchemists b. (1) burning passion ; ardor (2) liveliness of imagination ; inspiration 2. a. fuel in a state of combustion (as on a hearth) b. British a small gas or electric space heater 3. a. a destructive burning (as of a building) b. (1) death or torture by fire (2) severe trial or ordeal 4. brilliancy, luminosity <the fire of a gem> 5. a. the firing of weapons (as firearms, artillery, or missiles) b. intense verbal attack or criticism c. a rapidly delivered series (as of remarks) fireless adjective II. verb (fired; firing) Date: 13th century transitive verb 1. a. to set on fire ; kindle; also ignite <fire a rocket engine> b. (1) to give life or spirit to ; inspire <the description fired his imagination> (2) to fill with passion or enthusiasm often used with up c. to light up as if by fire d. to cause to start operating usually used with up <fired up the engine> 2. a. to drive out or away by or as if by fire b. to dismiss from a position 3. a. (1) to cause to explode ; detonate (2) to propel from or as if from a gun ; discharge, launch <fire a rocket> (3) shoot 1b <fire a gun> (4) to score (a number) in a game or contest b. to throw with speed or force <fired the ball to first base> <fire a left jab> c. to utter with force and rapidity 4. to apply fire or fuel to: as a. to process by applying heat <fire pottery> b. to feed or serve the fire of <fire a boiler> intransitive verb 1. a. to take fire ; kindle, ignite b. to begin operation ; start <the engine fired> c. to operate especially as the result of the application of an electrical impulse <the spark plug fires> 2. a. to become irritated or angry often used with up b. to become filled with excitement or enthusiasm 3. a. to discharge a firearm <fire at close range> b. to emit or let fly an object 4. to tend a fire 5. to transmit a nerve impulse <the rate at which a neuron fires> fireable adjective firer noun

Britannica Concise

Rapid burning of combustible material, producing heat and usually accompanied by flame. For eons, lightning was the only source of fire. The earliest controlled use of fire seems to date to c.1,420,000 years ago, but not until c.7000 BC did Neolithic humans acquire reliable firemaking techniques, incl. friction from hardwood drills and sparks struck from flint against pyrites. Fire was used initially for warmth, light, and cooking; later it was used in fire drives in hunting and warfare, and for clearing forests of underbrush to facilitate hunting. The first agriculturalists used fire to clear fields and produce ash for fertilizer; such "slash-and-burn" cultivation is still used widely today. Fire also came to be used for firing pottery and for smelting bronze (c.3000 BC) and later iron (c.1000 BC). Much of the modern history of technology and science can be characterized as a continual increase in the amount of energy available through fire and brought under human control.

U.S. Military Dictionary

(*) 1. The command given to discharge a weapon(s). 2. To detonate the main explosive charge by means of a firing system. See also barrage fire; call fire; counterfire; counterpreparation fire; covering fire; destruction fire; direct fire; direct supporting fire; distributed fire; grazing fire; harassing fire; indirect fire; neutralization fire; observed fire; preparation fire; radar fire; registration fire; scheduled fire; searching fire; supporting fire; suppressive fire.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. & v. --n. 1 a the state or process of combustion, in which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and usu. give out bright light and heat. b the active principle operative in this. c flame or incandescence. 2 a conflagration, a destructive burning (forest fire). 3 a burning fuel in a grate, furnace, etc. b = electric fire. c = gas fire. 4 firing of guns. 5 a fervour, spirit, vivacity. b poetic inspiration, lively imagination. c vehement emotion. 6 burning heat, fever. 7 luminosity, glow (St Elmo's fire). --v. 1 a tr. discharge (a gun etc.). b tr. propel (a missile) from a gun etc. c intr. (often foll. by at, into, on) fire a gun or missile. d tr. produce (a broadside, salute, etc.) by discharge of guns. e intr. (of a gun etc.) be discharged. 2 tr. cause (explosive) to explode. 3 tr. deliver or utter in rapid succession (fired insults at us). 4 tr. sl. dismiss (an employee) from a job. 5 tr. a set fire to with the intention of destroying. b kindle (explosives). 6 intr. catch fire. 7 intr. (of an internal-combustion engine, or a cylinder in one) undergo ignition of its fuel. 8 tr. supply (a furnace, engine, boiler, or power station) with fuel. 9 tr. a stimulate (the imagination). b fill (a person) with enthusiasm. 10 tr. a bake or dry (pottery, bricks, etc.). b cure (tea or tobacco) by artificial heat. 11 intr. become heated or excited. 12 tr. cause to glow or redden. Phrases and idioms: catch fire begin to burn. fire-alarm a device for giving warning of fire. fire and brimstone the supposed torments of hell. fire away colloq. begin; go ahead. fire-ball 1 a large meteor. 2 a ball of flame, esp. from a nuclear explosion. 3 an energetic person. 4 ball lightning. 5 Mil. hist. a ball filled with combustibles. fire-balloon a balloon made buoyant by the heat of a fire burning at its mouth. fire-blight a disease of plants, esp. hops and fruit trees, causing a scorched appearance. fire-bomb an incendiary bomb. fire-break an obstacle to the spread of fire in a forest etc., esp. an open space. fire-brick a fireproof brick used in a grate. fire brigade esp. Brit. an organized body of firemen trained and employed to extinguish fires. fire-bug colloq. a pyromaniac. fire company 1 = fire brigade. 2 a fire-insurance company. fire-control a system of regulating the fire of a ship's or a fort's guns. fire department US = fire brigade. fire door a fire-resistant door to prevent the spread of fire. fire-drake (in Germanic mythology) a fiery dragon. fire-drill 1 a rehearsal of the procedures to be used in case of fire. 2 a primitive device for kindling fire with a stick and wood. fire-eater 1 a conjuror who appears to swallow fire. 2 a person fond of quarrelling or fighting. fire-engine a vehicle carrying equipment for fighting large fires. fire-escape an emergency staircase or apparatus for escape from a building on fire. fire extinguisher an apparatus with a jet for discharging liquid chemicals, water, or foam to extinguish a fire. fire-fighter a person whose task is to extinguish fires. fire-guard 1 a protective screen or grid placed in front of a fireplace. 2 US a fire-watcher. 3 US a fire-break. fire-hose a hose-pipe used in extinguishing fires. fire-irons tongs, poker, and shovel, for tending a domestic fire. fire-lighter Brit. a piece of inflammable material to help start a fire in a grate. fire-office a fire-insurance company. fire-opal girasol. fire-plug a hydrant for a fire-hose. fire-power 1 the destructive capacity of guns etc. 2 financial, intellectual, or emotional strength. fire-practice a fire-drill. fire-raiser Brit. an arsonist. fire-raising Brit. arson. fire-screen 1 a screen to keep off the direct heat of a fire. 2 a fire-guard. 3 an ornamental screen for a fireplace. fire-ship hist. a ship loaded with combustibles and sent adrift to ignite an enemy's ships etc. fire station the headquarters of a fire brigade. fire-step = firing-step. fire-stone stone that resists fire, used for furnaces etc. fire-storm a high wind or storm following a fire caused by bombs. fire-tongs tongs for picking up pieces of coal etc. in tending a fire. fire-trap a building without proper provision for escape in case of fire. fire up show sudden anger. fire-walking the (often ceremonial) practice of walking barefoot over white-hot stones, wood-ashes, etc. fire warden US a person employed to prevent or extinguish fires. fire-watcher a person keeping watch for fires, esp. those caused by bombs. fire-water colloq. strong alcoholic liquor. go on fire Sc. & Ir. catch fire. go through fire and water face all perils. on fire 1 burning. 2 excited. set fire to (or set on fire) ignite, kindle, cause to burn. set the world (or Thames) on fire do something remarkable or sensational. take fire catch fire. under fire 1 being shot at. 2 being rigorously criticized or questioned. Derivatives: fireless adj. firer n. Etymology: OE fyr, fyrian, f. WG

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Fire Fire, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fired; p. pr. & vb. n. Fring.] 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. [Obs.] Till my bad angel fire my good one out. --Shak. 9. (Far.) To cauterize. To fire up, to light up the fires of, as of an engine.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Fire Fire, v. i. 1. To take fire; to be kindled; to kindle. 2. To be irritated or inflamed with passion. 3. To discharge artillery or firearms; as, they fired on the town. To fire up, to grow irritated or angry. ``He . . . fired up, and stood vigorously on his defense.'' --Macaulay.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Fire Fire (f[imac]r), n. [OE. fir, fyr, fur AS. f[=y]r; akin to D. vuur, OS. & OHG. fiur, G. feuer, Icel. f[=y]ri, f[=u]rr, Gr. py^r, and perh. to L. purus pure, E. pure Cf. Empyrean, Pyre.] 1. The evolution of light and heat in the combustion of bodies; combustion; state of ignition. Note: 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 a 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; consuming violence 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 (Pyrotech.), compositions of various combustible substances, as sulphur, niter, lampblack, etc., the flames of which are colored by various metallic salts, as those of antimony, strontium, barium, etc. Fire alarm (a) A signal given on the breaking out of a fire. (b) An apparatus for giving such an alarm. Fire annihilator, a machine, device, or preparation to be kept at hand for extinguishing fire by smothering it with some incombustible vapor or gas, as carbonic acid. Fire balloon. (a) A balloon raised in the air by the buoyancy of air heated by a fire placed in the lower part

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Command Com*mand", n. 1. An authoritative order requiring obedience; a mandate; an injunction. Awaiting what command their mighty chief Had to impose. --Milton. 2. The possession or exercise of authority. Command and force may often create, but can never cure, an aversion. --Locke. 3. Authority; power or right of control; leadership; as, the forces under his command. 4. Power to dominate, command, or overlook by means of position; scope of vision; survey. The steepy stand Which overlooks the vale with wide command. --Dryden. 5. Control; power over something; sway; influence; as, to have command over one's temper or voice; the fort has command of the bridge. He assumed an absolute command over his readers. --Dryden. 6. A body of troops, or any naval or military force or post, or the whole territory under the authority or control of a particular officer. Word of command (Mil.), a word or phrase of definite and established meaning, used in directing the movements of soldiers; as, aim; fire; shoulder arms, etc. Syn: Control; sway; power; authority; rule; dominion; sovereignty; mandate; order; injunction; charge; behest. See Direction.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

I. BURNING, HEAT, OR ENTHUSIASM (fires, firing, fired) Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English. Please look at category 13 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword. 1. Fire is the hot, bright flames produced by things that are burning. They saw a big flash and a huge ball of fire reaching hundreds of feet into the sky... Many students were trapped by smoke and fire on an upper floor. 2. Fire or a fire is an occurrence of uncontrolled burning which destroys buildings, forests, or other things. 87 people died in a fire at the Happy Land Social Club... A forest fire is sweeping across portions of north Maine this evening... Much of historic Rennes was destroyed by fire in 1720. N-VAR 3. A fire is a burning pile of wood, coal, or other fuel that you make, for example to use for heat, light, or cooking. There was a fire in the grate... After the killing, he calmly lit a fire to destroy evidence. N-COUNT 4. A fire is a device that uses electricity or gas to give out heat and warm a room. (mainly BRIT; in AM, usually use heater) The gas fire was still alight... N-COUNT: oft n N 5. When a pot or clay object is fired, it is heated at a high temperature in a special oven, as part of the process of making it. After the pot is dipped in this mixture, it is fired... VERB: be V-ed 6. When the engine of a motor vehicle fires, an electrical spark is produced which causes the fuel to burn and the engine to work. The engine fired and we moved off. VERB: V 7. If you fire someone with enthusiasm, you make them feel very enthusiastic. If you fire someone's imagination, you make them feel interested and excited. ...the potential to fire the imagination of an entire generation... It was Allen who fired this rivalry with real passion... Both his grandfathers were fired with an enthusiasm for public speaking... VERB: V n, V n with n, be V-ed with n 8. You can use fire to refer in an approving way to someone's energy and enthusiasm. I went to hear him speak and was very impressed. He seemed so full of fire... = passion N-UNCOUNT [approval] 9. If an object or substance catches fire, it starts burning. The aircraft caught fire soon after take-off. PHRASE: V inflects 10. If something is on fire, it is burning and being damaged or destroyed by an uncontrolled fire. The captain radioed that the ship was on fire. = burning PHRASE: v-link PHR 11. If you say that someone is playing with fire, you mean that they are doing something dangerous that may result in great harm for them and cause many problems. Schulte warned government and industrial leaders that those who even venture to think about mass layoffs are playing with fire. PHRASE: V inflects 12. If you set fire to something or if you set it on fire, you start it burning in order to damage or destroy it. They set fire to vehicles outside that building... Lightning set several buildings on fire. PHRASE: V inflects 13. to have irons on the fire: see iron like a house on fire: see house there's no smoke without fire: see smoke II. SHOOTING OR ATTACKING (fires, firing, fired) Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English. Please look at category 13 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword. 1. If someone fires a gun or a bullet, or if they fire, a bullet is sent from a gun that they are using. Seven people were wounded when soldiers fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds... The gun was fired and Beaton was wounded a second time... Seventeen people were killed when security forces fired on demonstrators... They were firing. I screamed at them to stop. VERB: V n, V n, V on n, V firing The firing continued even while the protestors were fleeing. 2. You can use fire to refer to the shots fired from a gun or guns. His car was raked with fire from automatic weapons... The two were reportedly killed in an exchange of fire during a police raid. = gunfire 3. If you fire an arrow, you send it from a bow. He fired an arrow into a clearing in the forest. = shoot VERB: V n 4. If you fire questions at someone, you ask them a lot of questions very quickly, one after another. They were bombarded by more than 100 representatives firing questions on pollution. VERB: V n 5. If you draw fire for something that you have done, you cause people to criticize you or attack you because of it. The council recently drew fire for its intervention in the dispute... PHRASE: V inflects 6. If someone holds their fire or holds fire, they stop shooting or they wait before they start shooting. Devereux ordered his men to hold their fire until the ships got closer. PHRASE: V inflects 7. If you hold fire in a situation, you delay before taking action. Observers reckon the Bank of England will hold fire until nearer the Budget. = hold back PHRASE: V inflects 8. If you are in the line of fire, you are in a position where someone is aiming their gun at you. If you move into their line of fire, you move into a position between them and the thing they were aiming at. He cheerfully blows away any bad guy stupid enough to get in his line of fire... The man and his son had been pushed into the line of fire by their captors. PHRASE 9. If you open fire on someone, you start shooting at them. Then without warning, the troops opened fire on the crowd. PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR on n 10. If you return fire or you return someone's fire, you shoot back at someone who has shot at you. The soldiers returned fire after being attacked. PHRASE: V inflects 11. If you come under fire or are under fire, someone starts shooting at you. The Belgians fell back as the infantry came under fire. PHRASE: usu v PHR, v-link PHR 12. If you come under fire from someone or are under fire, they criticize you strongly. The president's plan first came under fire from critics who said he hadn't included enough spending cuts. PHRASE: usu v PHR, v-link PHR 13. to fire from the hip: see hip III. DISMISSAL (fires, firing, fired) If an employer fires you, they dismiss you from your job. If he hadn't been so good at the rest of his job, I probably would have fired him... She was sent a box of chocolates along with a letter saying she was fired. = sack VERB: V n, V n firing There was yet another round of firings. N-COUNT

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(1.) For sacred purposes. The sacrifices were consumed by fire (Gen. 8:20). The ever-burning fire on the altar was first kindled from heaven (Lev. 6:9, 13; 9:24), and afterwards rekindled at the dedication of Solomon's temple (2 Chr. 7:1, 3). The expressions "fire from heaven" and "fire of the Lord" generally denote lightning, but sometimes also the fire of the altar was so called (Ex. 29:18; Lev. 1:9; 2:3; 3:5, 9).

Fire for a sacred purpose obtained otherwise than from the altar was called "strange fire" (Lev. 10:1, 2; Num. 3:4).

The victims slain for sin offerings were afterwards consumed by fire outside the camp (Lev. 4:12, 21; 6:30; 16:27; Heb. 13:11).

(2.) For domestic purposes, such as baking, cooking, warmth, etc. (Jer. 36:22; Mark 14:54; John 18:18). But on Sabbath no fire for any domestic purpose was to be kindled (Ex. 35:3; Num. 15:32-36).

(3.) Punishment of death by fire was inflicted on such as were guilty of certain forms of unchastity and incest (Lev. 20:14; 21:9). The burning of captives in war was not unknown among the Jews (2 Sam. 12:31; Jer. 29:22). The bodies of infamous persons who were executed were also sometimes burned (Josh. 7:25; 2 Kings 23:16).

(4.) In war, fire was used in the destruction of cities, as Jericho (Josh. 6:24), Ai (8:19), Hazor (11:11), Laish (Judg. 18:27), etc. The war-chariots of the Canaanites were burnt (Josh. 11:6, 9, 13). The Israelites burned the images (2 Kings 10:26; R.V., "pillars") of the house of Baal. These objects of worship seem to have been of the nature of obelisks, and were sometimes evidently made of wood.

Torches were sometimes carried by the soldiers in battle (Judg. 7:16).

(5.) Figuratively, fire is a symbol of Jehovah's presence and the instrument of his power (Ex. 14:19; Num. 11:1, 3; Judg. 13:20; 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10, 12; 2:11; Isa. 6:4; Ezek. 1:4; Rev. 1:14, etc.).

God's word is also likened unto fire (Jer. 23:29). It is referred to as an emblem of severe trials or misfortunes (Zech. 12:6; Luke 12:49; 1 Cor. 3:13, 15; 1 Pet. 1:7), and of eternal punishment (Matt. 5:22; Mark 9:44; Rev. 14:10; 21:8).

The influence of the Holy Ghost is likened unto fire (Matt. 3:11). His descent was denoted by the appearance of tongues as of fire (Acts 2:3).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

fir ('esh; pur):

These are the common words for fire, occurring very frequently. 'Ur, "light" (Isa 24:15 the King James Version; compare the Revised Version (British and American); Isa 31:9, and see FIRES), nur (Aramaic) (Da 3:22 ff) are found a few times, also 'eshshah (Jer 6:29), and be`erah (Ex 22:6), once each. Ac 28:2,3 has pura, "pyre," and Mr 14:54; Lu 22:56, phos, "light," the Revised Version (British and American) "in the light (of the fire)." "To set on fire," yatsath (2Sa 14:31), lahat (De 32:22, etc.), phlogizo (Jas 3:6).

Fire was regarded by primitive peoples as supernatural in origin and specially Divine. Molech, the fire-god, and other deities were worshipped by certain Canaanitish and other tribes with human sacrifices (De 12:31; 2Ki 17:31; Ps 106:37), and, although this was specially forbidden to the Israelites (Le 18:21; De 12:31; 18:10), they too often lapsed into the practice (2Ki 16:3; 21:6; Jer 7:31; Eze 20:26,31).


1. Literal Usage:

Fire in the Old Testament is specially associated with the Divine presence, e.g. in the making of the Covenant with Abraham (Ge 15:17), in the burning bush. (Ex 3:2-4), in the pillar of fire (Ex 13:21), on Sinai (Ex 19:18), in the flame on the altar (Jud 13:20). Yahweh was "the God that answereth by fire" (1Ki 18:24,38). In the Law, therefore, sacrifices and offerings (including incense) were to be made by fire (Ex 12:8,9,10; Le 1). Fire from Yahweh signified the acceptance of certain special and separate sacrifices (Jud 6:21; 1Ki 18:38; 1Ch 21:26). In Le 9:24 the sacrificial fire "came forth from before Yahweh." The altar-fire was to be kept continually burning (Le 6:12,13); offering by "strange fire" (other than the sacred altar-fire) was punished by "fire from before Yahweh" (Le 10:1,2). Fire came from heaven also at the consecration of Solomon's Temple (2Ch 7:1).

According to /APC 2Macc 1:19-22, at the time of the Captivity priests hid the sacred fire in a well, and Nehemiah found it again, in a miraculous way, for the second Temple. Later, Maccabeus is said to have restored the fire by "striking stones and taking fire out of them" (10:3).

Fire was a frequent instrument of the Divine primitive wrath (Ge 19:24; Ex 9:23 (lightning); Nu 11:1; 16:35, etc.; Ps 104:4, the American Standard Revised Version "Who maketh .... flames of fire his ministers"). Fire shall yet dissolve the world (2Pe 3:12). It was frequently used by the Israelites as a means of destruction of idolatrous objects and the cities of their enemies (De 7:5,25; 12:3; 13:16; Jos 6:24; Jgs, frequently); sometimes also of punishment (Le 20:14; 21:9; Jos 7:25; /APC 2Macc 7:5).

The domestic use of fire was, as among other peoples, for heating, cooking, lighting, etc., but according to the Law no fire could be kindled on the Sabbath day (Ex 35:3). It was employed also for melting (Ex 32:24), and refining (Nu 31:23; 3:2,3, etc.). For the sacrificial fire wood was used as fuel (Ge 22:3,1; Le 6:12); for ordinary purposes, also charcoal (Pr 25:22; Isa 6:6, the Revised Version, margin "or hot stone"; Hab 3:5, the Revised Version (British and American) "fiery bolts," margin "or burning coals"; Joh 21:9, "a fire of coals" the Revised Version, margin "Gr, a fire of charcoal"; Ro 12:20); branches (Nu 15:32; 1Ki 17:12); thorns (Ps 58:9; 118:12; Ec 7:6; Isa 33:12); grass and other herbage (Mt 6:30; Lu 12:28).

2. Figurative Use:

Fire was an emblem

(1) of Yahweh in His glory (Da 7:9);

(2) in His holiness (Isa 6:4);

(3) in His jealousy for His sole worship (De 4:24; Heb 12:29; Ps 79:5; perhaps also Isa 33:14);

(4) of His protection of His people (2Ki 6:17; Zec 2:5);

(5) of His righteous judgment and purification (Zec 13:9; Mal 3:2,3; 1Co 3:13,15);

(6) of His wrath against sin and punishment of the wicked (De 9:3; Ps 18:8; 89:46; Isa 5:24; 30:33, "a Topheth is prepared of old"; Mt 3:10-12; 5:22, the Revised Version (British and American) "the hell of fire," margin "Greek, Gehenna of fire"; see Isa 30:33; Jer 7:31; Mt 13:40,42; 25:41, "eternal fire"; Mr 9:45-49; see Isa 66:24; 2Th 1:7; Heb 10:27; Jude 1:7);

(7) of the word of God in its power (Jer 5:14; 23:29);

(8) of Divine truth (Ps 39:3; Jer 20:9; Lu 12:49);

(9) of that which guides men (Isa 50:10,11);

(10) of the Holy Spirit (Ac 2:3);

(11) of the glorified Christ (Re 1:14);

(12) of kindness in its melting power (Ro 12:20);

(13) of trial and suffering (Ps 66:12; Isa 43:2; 1Pe 1:7; 4:12);

(14) of evil (Pr 6:27; 16:27; Isa 9:18; 65:5); lust or desire (Ho 7:6; /APC Sirach 23:16; 1Co 7:9); greed (Pr 30:16);

(15) of the tongue in its evil aspects (Jas 3:5,6);

(16) of heaven in its purity and glory (Re 15:2; see also Re 21:22,23).

W. L. Walker

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. n. 1. Combustion, intense heat. 2. Burning fuel, burning of fuel, heap of burning fuel. 3. Conflagration. 4. Firing, discharge of fire-arms, discharges. 5. Heat, ardor, fervor, impetuosity, violence, force, passion, fervency, intensity, animation, spirit, vigor, enthusiasm. 6. (Poetical.) Light, lustre, radiance, splendor. 7. Vivacity, inspiration, imagination, imaginativeness, force of sentiment. 8. Torture or death by fire, the stake. 9. Torture, trouble, affliction, persecution, bitter trial. II. v. a. 1. Kindle, set on fire. 2. Animate, excite, inspirit, invigorate, kindle, rouse, inflame, stir up. 3. Discharge, fire off. III. v. n. 1. Take fire, be kindled. 2. Fire up, be angered or irritated, show irritation. 3. Be roused, excited, kindled, inflamed (with passion). 4. Discharge a gun, discharge fire-arms.

Moby Thesaurus

abandon, afflatus, afire, aflame, aggressiveness, agitate, aim at, air, air-dry, alight, anhydrate, animate, animating spirit, animation, animus, annoy, antiaircraft fire, ardency, ardent, ardor, arouse, aroused, atom, atomic particles, awake, awaken, ax, axe, backfire, bake, balefire, bang, bank, barbecue, barrage, baste, beacon, beacon fire, begin, blanch, blast, blast away, blast off, blaze, blaze up, blazing, blitz, blot, blow out, blow the coals, blow up, boil, bombard, bombardment, bonfire, boot, boot out, bounce, bowl, braise, break, brew, broadside, broil, brown, brush, brute matter, building block, bump, burn, burning, burning ghat, burning pain, burst, bust, calenture, call forth, call up, campfire, can, candle, cannon, cannonade, cashier, cast, cast at, catapult, chafe, charge, charring, cheerful fire, chemical element, childbed fever, chuck, chuck at, chunk, cock, coddle, combustion, commence, commence firing, commitment, committedness, component, conflagrate, conflagration, constituent, continued fever, cook, corposant, cozy fire, crackling fire, crematory, cross fire, cure, curry, curtain fire, dart, dash, death fire, dedication, defrock, degrade, dehumidify, dehydrate, delay, delirium, demote, deplume, depose, deprive, desiccate, detonate, devil, devotedness, devotion, devoutness, direct fire, disbar, discharge, disemploy, dismiss, displace, displume, dive in, divine afflatus, do, do to perfection, drain, drive, drop, drum out, dry, dry fire, dynamize, eager, eagerness, earnestness, earth, eclat, ecstasy, eject, elan, electric light bulb, electric-heat, electrify, element, elementary particle, elementary unit, embue, energize, energy, enfilade, enkindle, enliven, enlivenment, enrage, enterprise, enthuse, enthusiasm, enthusiastic, eruptive fever, evaporate, exalt, excite, excited, excitement, exhilarate, exhilaration, expel, explode, exsiccate, faith, faithfulness, fall to, fan, fan the fire, fan the flame, febricity, febrility, feed, feed the fire, feeling, fell, fen fire, ferment, fervency, fervent, fervid, fervidness, fervor, fever, fever heat, fever of excitement, feverishness, fidelity, fieriness, file fire, fire a volley, fire at, fire of demolition, fire off, fire up, fire upon, firepower, fireworks, firing, flack, flak, flame, flame up, flaming, flare, flare up, flashing point, flicker, flickering flame, fling, fling at, flip, flush, foment, forest fire, fork, fox fire, frenzy, fricassee, frizz, frizzle, fry, fulminate, fundamental particle, funeral pyre, furlough, furor, fury, fusillade, galvanize, gas-heat, genius, get to, get-up-and-go, ginger, give the ax, give the gate, glare, glaze, glim, glow, go ahead, go off, griddle, grill, ground fire, gun, gun for, gunfight, gunfire, gunplay, gusto, hang fire, head into, heart, hearten, heartiness, heat, heat up, heatedness, heave, heave at, hectic, hectic fever, hectic flush, heighten, high-angle fire, hit, holocaust, horizontal fire, hot, hot up, hot-air-heat, hot-blooded, hot-water-heat, hurl, hurl against, hurl at, hurrah, hurtle, hyle, hyperpyrexia, hyperthermia, hypostasis, ignis fatuus, ignite, ignition, illuminant, illuminator, imbue, impassion, impassionedness, incandescent body, incense, incite, infect, infection, inferno, inflame, inform, infuriate, infuse, infusion, ingle, initiative, inject, inoculate, insolate, inspiration, inspire, inspired, inspirit, instigate, intense, intensify, intensity, intentness, interdiction fire, intermittent fever, invigorate, jazz up, jerk, jump off, key up, kick, kick off, kick out, kick upstairs, kiln, kindle, lambent flame, lamp, lance, lantern, lather up, launch, lay off, let fly, let fly at, let go, let off, let out, light, light bulb, light source, light the fuse, light up, liveliness, liven, load, lob, loyalty, luminant, luminary, machine-gun fire, madden, make redundant, marshfire, match, material, material world, materiality, matter, mold, molecule, monad, moon, mortar, mortar fire, motivate, move, moving spirit, mull, mummify, musketry, natural world, nature, nettle, on fire, open fire, open up on, oust, oven-bake, overexcite, overheat, pan, pan-broil, parboil, parch, pass, passion, passionate, passionateness, peg, pelt, pension off, pep, pep up, pepper, percussion fire, perk up, physical world, pick off, pique, piss and vinegar, pistol, pistol fire, pitch, pitch in, pitchfork, pizzazz, play with fire, plenum, plug, plunge into, poach, poop, pop at, pot, potshoot, potshot, prairie fire, preheat, prepare, prepare food, prime, project, propel, protein fever, provoke, puerperal fever, punch, push, put, put the shot, put up to, pyre, pyrexia, quicken, raging fire, rake, raking fire, rally, rapid fire, read out of, recook, reheat, rekindle, relapsing fever, release, relight, relish, relume, remittent, remittent fever, replace, resolution, retire, ricochet fire, riddle, rifle fire, roast, rouse, rub, rut, sack, salvo, saute, savor, scallop, scorch, scorching, sea of flames, sear, searing, send off, separate forcibly, seriousness, serve, set about, set astir, set fire to, set in, set off, set on, set on fire, set out, set sail, set to, sexual excitement, shape, sheet of fire, shell, shellfire, shirr, shoot, shoot at, shoot down, shoot-out, shooting, shrivel, shy, shy at, sic on, signal beacon, simmer, sincerity, sling, sling at, smart, smarting, smoke, smudge fire, snap, snap up, snipe, snipe at, soak up, soul, source of light, spark, sparkle, spirit, spirit up, sponge, spunk, spunk up, starch, stars, start, start in, start off, start out, steam, steam up, stew, stimulate, stimulated, sting, stinging, stir, stir the blood, stir the embers, stir the feelings, stir the fire, stir up, stir-fry, stirred, stoke, stoke the fire, stoke up, strafe, strike, strike a light, strip, stuff, substance, substratum, summon up, sun, sun-dry, superannuate, superheat, surplus, suspend, swab, take a potshot, take aim at, take fire, take off, taper, tepefy, terminate, the four elements, three-alarm fire, thrill, throw, throw at, thrust, tickle, tilt, time fire, tingle, tingling, toast, torch, torpedo, torrefy, toss, toss at, touch off, towel, trigger, turn a pot, turn off, turn on, turn out, turn to, two-alarm fire, unfrock, unit of being, urethral fever, urtication, vaccinal fever, vehemence, vertical fire, verve, vigor, vim, vitality, vitalize, vivacity, vivify, volley, wake, wake up, waken, warm, warm over, warm the blood, warm up, warmth, warmth of feeling, watch fire, water, water fever, weazen, whet, whip up, wildfire, wipe, witch fire, wither, wizen, work into, work up, wound fever, zeal, zero in on, zest, zing, zip, zip up, zone fire

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