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firebug

[fahyuh r-buhg] /ˈfaɪərˌbʌg/
noun, Informal.
1.
arsonist; incendiary; pyromaniac.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75, Americanism; fire + bug1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for firebug
  • Or it could have been a drooling firebug looking for a safe corner to set a fire.
  • He bore a shadowed name as a firebug, having burned three buildings for insurance.
British Dictionary definitions for firebug

firebug

/ˈfaɪəˌbʌɡ/
noun
1.
(informal) a person who deliberately sets fire to property
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 firebug

firebug

noun

An arsonist; pyromaniac

[1872+; fr fire plus bug, ''maniac'']


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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Encyclopedia Article for firebug

a species of insect in the stinkbug family, Pentatomidae (order Heteroptera), that sucks sap and chlorophyll from crops, such as cabbage, causing them to wilt and die. Though of tropical or subtropical origin, this insect now ranges from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in North America. The harlequin cabbage bug is shield-shaped, about 1.25 centimetres (0.5 inch) long, and brilliantly coloured with red, yellow, and black. Fifty to 60 adult harlequin bugs may be found feeding simultaneously on one large plant, and both adult and immature bugs are often found together.

Learn more about firebug with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for firebug

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for firebug

13
16
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