fight fire with fire

fire

[fahyuhr]
noun
1.
a state, process, or instance of combustion in which fuel or other material is ignited and combined with oxygen, giving off light, heat, and flame.
2.
a burning mass of material, as on a hearth or in a furnace.
3.
the destructive burning of a building, town, forest, etc.; conflagration.
4.
heat used for cooking, especially the lighted burner of a stove: Put the kettle on the fire.
6.
flashing light; luminous appearance.
7.
brilliance, as of a gem.
8.
burning passion; excitement or enthusiasm; ardor.
9.
liveliness of imagination.
10.
fever or inflammation.
11.
severe trial or trouble; ordeal.
12.
exposure to fire as a means of torture or ordeal.
13.
strength, as of an alcoholic beverage.
14.
a spark or sparks.
15.
the discharge of firearms: enemy fire.
16.
the effect of firing military weapons: to pour fire upon the enemy.
17.
British. a gas or electric heater used for heating a room.
18.
Literary. a luminous object, as a star: heavenly fires.
verb (used with object), fired, firing.
19.
to set on fire.
20.
to supply with fuel; attend to the fire of: They fired the boiler.
21.
to expose to the action of fire; subject to heat.
22.
to apply heat to in a kiln for baking or glazing; burn.
23.
to heat very slowly for the purpose of drying, as tea.
24.
to inflame, as with passion; fill with ardor.
25.
to inspire.
26.
to light or cause to glow as if on fire.
27.
to discharge (a gun).
28.
to project (a bullet or the like) by or as if by discharging from a gun.
29.
to subject to explosion or explosive force, as a mine.
30.
to hurl; throw: to fire a stone through a window.
31.
to dismiss from a job.
32.
Veterinary Medicine. to apply a heated iron to (the skin) in order to create a local inflammation of the superficial structures, with the intention of favorably affecting deeper inflammatory processes.
33.
to drive out or away by or as by fire.
verb (used without object), fired, firing.
34.
to take fire; be kindled.
35.
to glow as if on fire.
36.
to become inflamed with passion; become excited.
37.
to shoot, as a gun.
38.
to discharge a gun: to fire at a fleeing enemy.
39.
to hurl a projectile.
40.
Music. to ring the bells of a chime all at once.
41.
(of plant leaves) to turn yellow or brown before the plant matures.
42.
(of an internal-combustion engine) to cause ignition of the air-fuel mixture in a cylinder or cylinders.
43.
(of a nerve cell) to discharge an electric impulse.
Verb phrases
44.
fire away, Informal. to begin to talk and continue without slackening, as to ask a series of questions: The reporters fired away at the president.
45.
fire off,
a.
to discharge (as weapons, ammunition, etc.): Police fired off canisters of tear gas.
b.
to write and send hurriedly: She fired off an angry letter to her congressman.
Idioms
46.
between two fires, under physical or verbal attack from two or more sides simultaneously: The senator is between two fires because of his stand on the bill.
47.
build a fire under, Informal. to cause or urge to take action, make a decision quickly, or work faster: If somebody doesn't build a fire under that committee, it will never reach a decision.
48.
catch fire,
a.
Also, catch on fire. to become ignited; burn: The sofa caught fire from a lighted cigarette.
b.
to create enthusiasm: His new book did not catch fire among his followers.
49.
fight fire with fire, to use the same tactics as one's opponent; return like for like.
50.
go through fire and water, to brave any danger or endure any trial: He said he would go through fire and water to win her hand.
51.
hang fire,
a.
to be delayed in exploding, or fail to explode.
b.
to be undecided, postponed, or delayed: The new housing project is hanging fire because of concerted opposition.
52.
miss fire,
a.
to fail to explode or discharge, as a firearm.
b.
to fail to produce the desired effect; be unsuccessful: He repeated the joke, but it missed fire the second time.
53.
on fire,
a.
ignited; burning; afire.
b.
eager; ardent; zealous: They were on fire to prove themselves in competition.
54.
play with fire, to trifle with a serious or dangerous matter: He didn't realize that insulting the border guards was playing with fire.
55.
set fire to,
a.
to cause to burn; ignite.
b.
to excite; arouse; inflame: The painting set fire to the composer's imagination.
Also, set on fire.
56.
take fire,
a.
to become ignited; burn.
b.
to become inspired with enthusiasm or zeal: Everyone who heard him speak immediately took fire.
57.
under fire,
a.
under attack, especially by military forces.
b.
under censure or criticism: The school administration is under fire for its policies.

Origin:
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English fȳr; cognate with Old Norse fūrr, German Feuer, Greek pŷr (see pyro-); (v.) Middle English firen to kindle, inflame, derivative of the noun

firer, noun
counterfire, noun, verb (used without object), counterfired, counterfiring.
refire, verb, refired, refiring.
unfired, adjective

downsize, fire, lay off, rightsize, terminate.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fire (faɪə)
 
n
1.  the state of combustion in which inflammable material burns, producing heat, flames, and often smoke
2.  a.  a mass of burning coal, wood, etc, used esp in a hearth to heat a room
 b.  (in combination): firewood; firelighter
3.  a destructive conflagration, as of a forest, building, etc
4.  a device for heating a room, etc
5.  something resembling a fire in light or brilliance: a diamond's fire
6.  a flash or spark of or as if of fire
7.  a.  the act of discharging weapons, artillery, etc
 b.  the shells, etc, fired
8.  a burst or rapid volley: a fire of questions
9.  intense passion; ardour
10.  liveliness, as of imagination, thought, etc
11.  a burning sensation sometimes produced by drinking strong alcoholic liquor
12.  fever and inflammation
13.  a severe trial or torment (esp in the phrase go through fire and water)
14.  catch fire to ignite
15.  draw someone's fire to attract the criticism or censure of someone
16.  hang fire
 a.  to delay firing
 b.  to delay or be delayed
17.  no smoke without fire the evidence strongly suggests something has indeed happened
18.  on fire
 a.  in a state of ignition
 b.  ardent or eager
 c.  informal playing or performing at the height of one's abilities
19.  open fire to start firing a gun, artillery, etc
20.  play with fire to be involved in something risky
21.  (Brit) set fire to, set on fire
 a.  to ignite
 b.  to arouse or excite
22.  informal set the world on fire, set the Thames on fire, set the heather on fire to cause a great sensation
23.  under fire being attacked, as by weapons or by harsh criticism
24.  (modifier) astrology earth air Compare water of or relating to a group of three signs of the zodiac, Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
 
vb
25.  to discharge (a firearm or projectile) or (of a firearm, etc) to be discharged
26.  to detonate (an explosive charge or device) or (of such a charge or device) to be detonated
27.  informal (tr) to dismiss from employment
28.  (tr) ceramics to bake in a kiln to harden the clay, fix the glaze, etc
29.  to kindle or be kindled; ignite
30.  (tr) to provide with fuel: oil fires the heating system
31.  (intr) to tend a fire
32.  (tr) to subject to heat
33.  (tr) to heat slowly so as to dry
34.  (tr) to arouse to strong emotion
35.  to glow or cause to glow
36.  (intr) (of an internal-combustion engine) to ignite
37.  (intr) (of grain) to become blotchy or yellow before maturity
38.  vet science another word for cauterize
39.  informal (Austral) (intr) (of a sportsman, etc) to play well or with enthusiasm
 
sentence substitute
40.  a cry to warn others of a fire
41.  the order to begin firing a gun, artillery, etc
 
[Old English fӯr; related to Old Saxon fiur, Old Norse fūrr, Old High German fūir, Greek pur]
 
'fireable
 
adj
 
'fireless
 
adj
 
'firer
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fire
O.E. fyr, from P.Gmc. *fuir (cf. O.Fris. fiur, O.N. fürr, M.Du. vuur, Ger. Feuer), from PIE *perjos, from root *paewr- (cf. Armenian hur "fire, torch," Czech pyr "hot ashes," Gk. pyr, Umbrian pir, Skt. pu, Hittite pahhur "fire"). Current spelling is attested as early as 1200, but did not fully
displace M.E. fier (preserved in fiery) until c.1600. PIE apparently had two roots for fire: *paewr- and *egni- (cf. L. ignis). The former was "inanimate," referring to fire as a substance, and the latter was "animate," referring to it as a living force (see water). Fire applied in English to passions, feelings, from mid-14c. Firecracker is Amer.Eng. coinage for what is in England just cracker, but the U.S. word distinguishes it from the word meaning "biscuit." To play with fire "risk disaster" is from 1887; phrase where's the fire? "what's the hurry?" first recorded 1924.

fire
c.1200, furen, figurative, "arouse, excite;" literal sense of "set fire to" is from late 14c., from fire (n.). The O.E. verb fyrian "to supply with fire" apparently did not survive into M.E. The sense of "sack, dismiss" is first recorded 1885 in Amer.Eng., probably from a
play on the two meanings of discharge: "to dismiss from a position," and "to fire a gun," the second sense being from "set fire to gunpowder," attested from 1520s. Related: Fired; firing. Fired up "angry" is from 1824.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fire (fīr)
v. fired, fir·ing, fires
To generate an electrical impulse. Used of a neuron.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Fire definition


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

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fight fire with fire

Combat an evil or negative circumstances by reacting in kind. For example, When the opposition began a smear campaign, we decided to fight fire with fire. Although ancient writers from Plato to Erasmus cautioned that one should not add fire to fire, this warning is not incorporated in the idiom, which was first recorded in Shakespeare's Coriolanus.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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