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[fahyuh r-ee-ter] /ˈfaɪərˌi tər/
an entertainer who pretends to eat fire.
an easily provoked, belligerent person.
U.S. History. an early and extreme Southern advocate of secession before the Civil War.
Origin of fire-eater
Related forms
fire-eating, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fire-eater
Historical Examples
  • fire-eater, on the contrary, whenever he was really overcome, had the habit of sneezing.

    Pinocchio C. Collodi
  • “My, what a fire-eater my little Harvey has become,” she said.

    What's-His-Name George Barr McCutcheon
  • “Sit still, you fire-eater,” cried Sylvia, catching hold of his arm.

  • "They called you the 'fire-eater,'" I added, never knowing when to stop.

    The Hive Will Levington Comfort
  • And to think of standing up and being shot full of holes or carved like a turkey by that fire-eater with the fierce mustache!

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • And he pulled out the money that fire-eater had made him a present of.

  • Where are the blankets and merchandise that bought the right of the fire-eater?

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • In a single day he could not change into a fire-eater and go merrily upon the man-hunt.

    Men in War Andreas Latzko
  • Have you too become a man of war, a fire-eater, a target for Mausers?

    "Forward, March" Kirk Munroe
  • You probably scared the poor lamb out of his wits, fire-eater that you are.

    The Unspeakable Perk Samuel Hopkins Adams
British Dictionary definitions for fire-eater


a performer who simulates the swallowing of fire
a belligerent person
Derived Forms
fire-eating, noun, adjective
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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Slang definitions & phrases for fire-eater



  1. A quarrelsome and energetic person (1804+)
  2. A firefighter; Smoke-Eater (1920s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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