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 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.
(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.
(a) A signal given on the breaking out of a fire. (b) An apparatus for giving such an alarm.
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.
(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.
a grate bar.
a portable grate; a cresset. Knight.
(Zoöl.) See in the Vocabulary.
a disease of plants which causes them to appear as if burnt by fire.
the chamber of a furnace, steam boiler, etc., for the fire.
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.
an organized body of men for extinguished fires.
See under Bucket.
an incendiary; one who, from malice or through mania, persistently sets fire to property; a pyromaniac. [U.S.]
See under Clay.
a company of men managing an engine in extinguishing fires.
See Fiery cross. [Obs.] Milton.
See under Damp.
See Firedog, in the Vocabulary.
(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.
(a) A juggler who pretends to eat fire. (b) A quarrelsome person who seeks affrays; a hotspur. [Colloq.]
a portable forcing pump, usually on wheels, for throwing water to extinguish fire.
a contrivance for facilitating escape from burning buildings.
(Fine Arts), a mode of gilding with an amalgam of gold and quicksilver, the latter metal being driven off afterward by heat.
(Fine Arts), gold laid on by the process of fire gilding.
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.
utensils for a fireplace or grate, as tongs, poker, and shovel.
a pipe for water, to be used in putting out fire.
(Mil), an artillery officer who formerly supervised the composition of fireworks.
an office at which to effect insurance against fire.
a variety of opal giving firelike reflections.
an ancient mode of trial, in which the test was the ability of the accused to handle or tread upon red-hot irons. Abbot.
a pan for holding or conveying fire, especially the receptacle for the priming of a gun.
a plug or hydrant for drawing water from the main pipes in a street, building, etc., for extinguishing fires.
the writing or instrument expressing the contract of insurance against loss by fire.
(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.
a raft laden with combustibles, used for setting fire to an enemy's ships.
a peculiar beat of the drum to summon men to their quarters in case of fire.
(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.
a vessel filled with combustibles, for setting fire to an enemy's ships.
a shovel for taking up coals of fire.
the stench from decomposing iron pyrites, caused by the formation of sulphureted hydrogen. Raymond.
the surfaces of a steam boiler which are exposed to the direct heat of the fuel and the products of combustion; heating surface.
a swab saturated with water, for cooling a gun in action and clearing away particles of powder, etc. Farrow.
in England, the fireman of a steam emgine.
ardent spirits; -- so called by the American Indians.
the worship of fire, which prevails chiefly in Persia, among the followers of Zoroaster, called Chebers, or Guebers, and among the Parsees of India.
See under Greek.
burning; hence, ardent; passionate; eager; zealous.
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.