Definition for FIRE

FIRE, n. [Sax. fyr; G. feuer; D. vuur; Dan. and Sw. fyr; Gr. πυρ, Qu. Coptic, pira, the sun; New Guinea, for. The radical sense of fire, is usually, to rush, to rage, to be violently agitated; and if this is the sense of fire, it coincides with L. furo. It may be from shining or consuming. See Class Br, No. 2, 6, 9, 30.]

  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. Silliman. 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! Shak.
  5. Torture by burning. Prior.
  6. The instrument of punishment; or, the punishment of the impenitent in another state. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Is. xxxiii.
  7. That which inflames or irritates the passions. What fire is in my ears? Shak.
  8. Ardor of temper; violence of passion. He had fire in his temper. Atterbury.
  9. Liveliness of imagination; vigor of fancy; intellectual activity; animation; force of sentiment or expression. And warm the critic with a poet's fire. Pope.
  10. The passion of love; ardent affection. The god of love retires; Dim are his torches, and extinct his fires. Pope.
  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. Is. xliii. 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. Encyc.

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