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Fire, n. Etym: [OE. fir, fyr, fur AS. fr; akin to D. vuur, OS. & OHG. fiur, G. feuer, Icel. f, f, Gr. 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

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 (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. (b) A balloon sent up at night with fireworks which ignite at a regulated height. Simmonds.
-- Fire bar, a grate bar.
-- Fire basket, a portable grate; a cresset. Knight.
-- Fire beetle. (Zoöl.) See in the Vocabulary.
-- Fire blast, a disease of plants which causes them to appear as if burnt by fire.
-- Fire box, the chamber of a furnace, steam boiler, etc., for the fire.
-- Fire brick, a refractory brick, capable of sustaining intense heat without fusion, usually made of fire clay or of siliceous material, with some cementing substance, and used for lining fire boxes, etc.
-- Fire brigade, an organized body of men for extinguished fires.
-- Fire bucket. See under Bucket.
-- Fire bug, an incendiary; one who, from malice or through mania, persistently sets fire to property; a pyromaniac. [U.S.] -- Fire clay. See under Clay.
-- Fire company, a company of men managing an engine in extinguishing fires.
-- Fire cross. See Fiery cross. [Obs.] Milton.
-- Fire damp. See under Damp.
-- Fire dog. See Firedog, in the Vocabulary.
-- Fire drill. (a) A series of evolutions performed by fireman for practice. (b) An apparatus for producing fire by friction, by rapidly twirling a wooden pin in a wooden socket; -- used by the Hindoos during all historic time, and by many savage peoples.
-- Fire eater. (a) A juggler who pretends to eat fire. (b) A quarrelsome person who seeks affrays; a hotspur. [Colloq.] -- Fire engine, a portable forcing pump, usually on wheels, for throwing water to extinguish fire.
-- Fire escape, a contrivance for facilitating escape from burning buildings.
-- Fire gilding (Fine Arts), a mode of gilding with an amalgam of gold and quicksilver, the latter metal being driven off afterward by heat.
-- Fire gilt (Fine Arts), gold laid on by the process of fire gilding.
-- Fire insurance, the act or system of insuring against fire; also, a contract by which an insurance company undertakes, in consideration of the payment of a premium or small percentage -- usually made periodically -- to indemnify an owner of property from loss by fire during a specified period.
-- Fire irons, utensils for a fireplace or grate, as tongs, poker, and shovel.
-- Fire main, a pipe for water, to be used in putting out fire.
-- Fire master (Mil), an artillery officer who formerly supervised the composition of fireworks.
-- Fire office, an office at which to effect insurance against fire.
-- Fire opal, a variety of opal giving firelike reflections.
-- Fire ordeal, an ancient mode of trial, in which the test was the ability of the accused to handle or tread upon red-hot irons. Abbot.
-- Fire pan, a pan for holding or conveying fire, especially the receptacle for the priming of a gun.
-- Fire plug, a plug or hydrant for drawing water from the main pipes in a street, building, etc., for extinguishing fires.
-- Fire policy, the writing or instrument expressing the contract of insurance against loss by fire.
-- Fire pot. (a) (Mil.) A small earthen pot filled with combustibles, formerly used as a missile in war.
(b) The cast iron vessel which holds the fuel or fire in a furnace.
(c) A crucible.
(d) A solderer's furnace.
-- Fire raft, a raft laden with combustibles, used for setting fire to an enemy's ships.
-- Fire roll, a peculiar beat of the drum to summon men to their quarters in case of fire.
-- Fire setting (Mining), 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. Raymond.
-- 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. Raymond.
-- 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. Farrow.
-- Fire teaser, in England, the fireman of a steam engine.
-- 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 under 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. Hoblyn.
-- St. Elmo's fire. See under Saint Elmo.
-- To set on fire, to inflame; to kindle.
-- To take fire, to begin to burn; to fly into a passion.

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.)

Defn: To cauterize. To fire up, to light up the fires of, as of an engine.

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.

Fire is also called rapid oxidation.


This is a fire fountain from a volcano.

In other languages, the word for fire is:
Indonesian: api
Javanese: geni, Latu
Balinese: api, Geni
Sundanese: seuneu
Madurese: apoy
Sawu: ai (the same word is used for fire and water!)
Toraja: api
Acehnese: apuy
Tetun: ahi
Tagalog: apoy
Hiligaynon: kalayo
Maori: ahi
Fijian: buka
Hawaiian: ahi
Malagasy: afo
Rapanui: ahi

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Fire - (1.) For sacred purposes. The sacrifices were consumed by fire (Genesis 8:20). The ever-burning fire on the altar was first kindled from heaven (Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 6:13; Leviticus 9:24), and afterwards rekindled at the dedication of Solomon's temple (2 Chronicles 7:1, 2 Chronicles 7:3). The expressions "fire from heaven" and "fire of the Lord" generally denote lightning, but sometimes also the fire of the altar was so called (Exodus 29:18; Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 3:5, Leviticus 3:9). Fire for a sacred purpose obtained otherwise than from the altar was called "strange fire" (Leviticus 10:1, Leviticus 10:2; Numbers 3:4). The victims slain for sin offerings were afterwards consumed by fire outside the camp (Leviticus 4:12, Leviticus 4:21; Leviticus 6:30; Leviticus 16:27; Hebrews 13:11).
(2.) For domestic purposes, such as baking, cooking, warmth, etc. (Jeremiah 36:22; Mark 14:54; John 18:18). But on Sabbath no fire for any domestic purpose was to be kindled (Exodus 35:3; Numbers 15:32).
(3.) Punishment of death by fire was inflicted on such as were guilty of certain forms of unchastity and incest (Leviticus 20:14; Leviticus 21:9). The burning of captives in war was not unknown among the Jews (2 Samuel 12:31; Jeremiah 29:22). The bodies of infamous persons who were executed were also sometimes burned (Joshua 7:25; 2 Kings 23:16).
(4.) In war, fire was used in the destruction of cities, as Jericho (Joshua 6:24), Ai (Joshua 8:19), Hazor (Joshua 11:11), Laish (Judges 18:27), etc. The war-chariots of the Canaanites were burnt (Joshua 11:6, Joshua 11:9, Joshua 11:13). 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 (Judges 7:16).
(5.) Figuratively, fire is a symbol of Jehovah's presence and the instrument of His power (Exodus 14:19; Numbers 11:1, Numbers 11:3; Judges 13:20; 1 Kings 18:38; 2 Kings 1:10, 2 Kings 1:12; 2 Kings 2:11; Isaiah 6:4; Ezekiel 1:4; Revelation 1:14, etc.). God's word is also likened unto fire (Jeremiah 23:29). It is referred to as an emblem of severe trials or misfortunes (Zechariah 12:6; Luke 12:49; 1 Corinthians 3:13, 1 Corinthians 3:15; 1 Peter 1:7), and of eternal punishment (Matthew 5:22; Mark 9:44; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 21:8). The influence of the Holy Ghost is likened unto fire (Matthew 3:11). His descent was denoted by the appearance of tongues as of fire (Acts 2:3).


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