Denotation vs. Connotation


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for bonfire
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bonfire was lighted in the Market Place, followed by a display of fireworks.

    Norfolk Annals Charles Mackie
  • Her face flamed at him, the bonfire's light when prejudice is burned.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • He was in bed; faintly into the dark room, stole the scent of the bonfire and the noise of the Fair.

    Jeremy Hugh Walpole
  • There was a bonfire at one side, and she thought she saw a tent.

  • I know not; only the Dismal Swamp is a mass of flame, and all the reeds and flags are burning merrily; 'tis such a bonfire!

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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bonfire

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bonfire

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bonfire