9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[bon-fahyuh r] /ˈbɒnˌfaɪər/
a large fire built in the open air, for warmth, entertainment, or celebration, to burn leaves, garbage, etc., or as a signal.
any fire built in the open.
Origin of bonfire
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English bone fire, i.e., a fire with bones for fuel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bonfire
  • They found a heart on the bonfire pile tonight before they lit the fire.
  • The confrontation began after protesters started a large bonfire in the middle of a downtown street.
  • So advances in physics have tended to pour petrol, rather than water, on the philosophical bonfire.
  • Ten workers took the products one by one, smashed them with hammers, and threw them into a bonfire.
  • Then a bunch of drummers wander in and take over by the smoldering bonfire.
  • But it's nothing compared to the sight of a leaky stove turning into a bonfire inside my tent.
  • On this last day the bonfire was left in charge of the children, while the older people retired to a wood.
  • We've got his straw mattress, and we're going to make a bonfire of it.
  • In the winter they would go sledding or skating on the frozen creek, building a bonfire on the shore to keep warm.
  • He had been singed in a media bonfire sparked by trivia and fanned into flame by culture-war-mongering.
British Dictionary definitions for bonfire


a large outdoor fire
Word Origin
C15: alteration (through influence of French bon good) of bone-fire; from the use of bones as fuel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bonfire

1550s, from Middle English banefire (late 15c.), originally a fire in which bones were burned. See bone (n.) + fire (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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