Inflame with enthusiasm, anger, or another strong emotion, as in Her speech fired up the crowd in favor of her proposals. This expression dates from the early 1800s, when it referred literally to starting a fire in a furnace or boiler; its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.
Light a pipe, cigar, or cigarette, as in Do you mind if I fire up? [Late 1800s] A more common term, however, is light up, def. 2.
Start the ignition of an engine, as in Whenever he tried to fire up the motor, it stalled. [Mid-1900s]
|1.||arouse or excite feelings and passions; "The ostentatious way of living of the rich ignites the hatred of the poor"; "The refugees' fate stirred up compassion around the world"; "Wake old feelings of hatred" [syn: inflame]|
|2.||begin to smoke; "After the meal, some of the diners lit up" [syn: light up]|