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fire

fire / fīr/ • n. 1. combustion or burning, in which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and typically give out bright light, heat, and smoke. ∎  one of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology. ∎  a destructive burning of something: a fire at a hotel. ∎  a collection of fuel, esp. wood or coal, burned in a controlled way to provide heat or a means for cooking: our kettle was kept constantly on the fire. ∎  a burning sensation in the body: the whiskey lit a fire in the back of his throat. ∎  fervent or passionate emotion or enthusiasm: the fire of their religious conviction. 2. the shooting of projectiles from weapons, esp. bullets from guns: a burst of machine-gun fire. ∎  strong criticism or antagonism: he directed his fire against policies promoting capital flight. • v. [tr.] 1. discharge a gun or other weapon in order to explosively propel (a bullet or projectile). ∎  discharge (a gun or other weapon). [intr.] troops fired on crowds. ∎  [intr.] (of a gun) be discharged. ∎  direct (questions or statements, esp. unwelcome ones) toward someone in rapid succession: they fired questions at me for what seemed like ages. ∎  (fire something off) send a message aggressively: he fired off a series of letters. 2. inf. dismiss (an employee) from a job: having to fire men who've been with me for years you're fired! 3. supply (a furnace, engine, boiler, or power station) with fuel. ∎  [intr.] (of an internal combustion engine, or a cylinder in one) undergo ignition of its fuel when started. 4. stimulate or excite (the imagination or an emotion): India fired my imagination. ∎  fill (someone) with enthusiasm: in the locker room they were really fired up. 5. bake or dry (pottery, bricks, etc.) in a kiln. 6. start (an engine or other device): with a flick of his wrist he fired up the chainsaw. PHRASES: catch fire begin to burn. ∎ fig. become interesting or exciting: the show never caught fire. fire and brimstone the torments of hell: his father was preaching fire and brimstone sermons. fire away inf. used to give someone permission to begin speaking, typically to ask questions. go through fire (and water) face any peril. light a fire under someone stimulate someone to work or act more quickly or enthusiastically. on fire in flames; burning. ∎  in a state of excitement. set fire to (or set something on fire) cause to burn; ignite. set the world on fire do something remarkable or sensational: the film hasn't exactly set the world on fire. under fire being shot at: observers sent to look for the men came under heavy fire. ∎  being rigorously criticized: the president was under fire from all sides.

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"fire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"fire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fire-1

"fire." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/fire-1

Fire

FIRE

The primary result of combustion. The juridical meaning does not differ from the vernacular meaning.

It is a crime to burn certain types of property under particular circumstances, both under the common law and a number of state statutes. Some of these crimes are regarded as arson, but ordinarily, arson relates specifically to buildings and their contents.

The act of willfully and maliciously setting fire to property belonging to another person—such as stacks of hay or grain, grasses, fences, or wood—is ordinarily punishable as a misdemeanor. Some jurisdictions grade the offense as a felony.

Statutes relating to fires ordinarily define the acts required for conviction. Under these statutes, willfully is defined as meaning with an evil or malicious intent or malevolent motive.

An individual who willfully or negligently sets fire to his or her own woods, prairie land, or other specified areas might be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, it is a misdemeanor to burn such areas without first giving proper notice to adjacent landowners or for an individual to allow a fire kindled on his or her wood or prairie to escape and burn adjoining property.

Some statutes relate to burning cultivated ground. Such legislation exists to prevent disastrous fires, and they do not apply to ordinary acts of agriculture that are properly conducted, such as the setting of fire to an area of land to prepare for planting.

Under some statutes that prohibit or regulate the setting of fires, a monetary penalty is imposed on people who violate their provisions. Frequently an agency—such as a state board of forest park preservation commissioners—is named specifically in the statute to bring an action to collect the penalty. Some statutes impose liability on an individual who allows fire to escape from his or her own property even though such escape is not willful, while other statutes provide that a landowner who sets a fire as a result of necessity—such as a back fire used to subdue another fire—will not be held liable. An individual is usually free from liability when he or she is lawfully burning something on his or her own farm and the fire accidentally spreads to an adjacent farm or woods.

There is civil liability for damages at common law imposed upon anyone who willfully and intentionally sets a fire. Some statutes under which criminal liability is imposed for setting certain types of fires also make express provisions that the individual whose property is damaged by the fire may initiate a civil action to recover any loss. Generally, the limit of damages is the loss actually incurred by the fire. Some statutes, however, provide for the recovery of double or treble damages.

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"Fire." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Fire

267. Fire

  1. Agni intermediary of the gods through sacrificial fire. [Hindu Myth.: Parrinder, 12]
  2. Armida sorceress sets fire to her own palace when it is threatened by the Crusaders. [Ital. Lit.: Jerusalem Delivered (Gerusalemme Liberata ); in Benét, 391]
  3. burning bush form taken by the Angel of the Lord to speak to Moses. [O.T.: Exodus 3:2-3]
  4. Caca goddess of the hearth. [Rom. Myth.: Kravitz, 49]
  5. Dactyli introduced fire to Crete. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 74]
  6. Etticoat, Little Nancy candle personified: longer she stands, shorter she grows. [Nurs. Rhyme: Mother Goose, 39]
  7. Fahrenheit 451 in an America of the future the firemans job is to burn all books that have been concealed from authorities. [Am. Lit.: Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 in Weiss, 289]
  8. Florian miraculously extinguished conflagration; popularly invoked against combustion. [Christian Hagiog.: Hall, 126]
  9. Great Chicago Fire destroyed much of Chicago; it was supposedly started when Mrs. OLearys cow kicked over a lantern (1871). [Am. Hist.: Payton, 141]
  10. Hephaestus Prometheus kinsman and the god of fire. [Gk. Lit.: Prometheus Bound, Magill I, 786788]
  11. lucifer kitchen match; from Lucifer, fallen archangel. [Br. Folklore: Espy, 66]
  12. Phlegethon river of liquid fire in Hades. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 699]
  13. Phoenix fabulous bird that consumes itself by fire every five hundred years and rises renewed from the ashes. [Arab Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 699]
  14. Polycarp, St. sentenced to immolation, flames unscathingly ensheathed him. [Christian Hagiog.: Attwater, 290]
  15. Prometheus Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to man. [Gk. Myth.: Payton, 546]
  16. salamander flame-dwelling spirit in Rosicrucian philosophy. [Medieval Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 956]
  17. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walk unscathed in the fire of the furnace into which Nebuchadnezzar has them thrown. [O. T.: Daniel 3:21-27]
  18. Smokey the Bear warns only you can prevent forest fires. [Am. Pop. Cult.: Misc.]
  19. Taberah Israelite camp scorched by angry Jehovah. [O.T.: Numbers 11:13]
  20. Topheth where parents immolated children to god, Moloch. [O.T.: II Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7:3132]
  21. Vesta virgin goddess of hearth; custodian of sacred fire. [Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1127]
  22. Vulcan blacksmith of gods; personification of fire. [Art: Hall, 128]

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"Fire." Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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fire

fire one of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius).
fire and brimstone torment in hell; often with biblical allusion, as in Revelation 19:20.
fire in the belly a powerful sense of ambition or determination.
fire is a good servant but a bad master acknowledgement that fire is both essential for living and potentially destructive. The saying is recorded from the early 17th century.
Fire of London the huge and devastating fire which destroyed some 13,000 houses over 400 acres of London between 2 and 6 September 1666, having started in a bakery in Pudding Lane in the City of London.
go through fire and water face any peril. Originally with reference to the medieval practice of trial by ordeal, which could take the form of making an accused person hold or walk on red-hot iron or of throwing them into water.
light a fire under in North American usage, stimulate someone to work or act more quickly or enthusiastically.
set the world on fire do something remarkable or sensational (often in negative contexts). A variant in British English is, set the Thames on fire.

see also ball of fire, the burnt child dreads the fire, dirty water will quench fire, draw someone's fire, if you play with fire, no smoke without fire, three removals are as bad as a fire.

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"fire." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Fire

162. Fire

See also 200. HEAT ; 373. SMOKE

arsonist
a person who destroys property by fire, for revenge, insurance, etc.
empyrosis
Obsolete, a large-scale fire or conflagration.
incendiarism
the deliberate destruction of property by fire; arson. incendiary , n., adj.
phlogiston
Obsolete Chemistry. a hypothetical ingredient thought to be released during combustion. phlogistic , adj.
pyrogenous
Geology. produced by the action of heat, hot solutions, etc. pyrogenic , adj.
pyrography
the process of burning designs on wood or leather with a heated tool. pyrograph , pyrographer , n. pyrographic , adj.
pyrolater, pyrolator
a fire-worshiper.
pyrolatry
the worship of fire.
pyromancy
a form of divination involving fire or flames.
pyromania
a persistent compulsion to start fires.
pyrophilia
a love of fire.
pyrophobia
an abnormal fear of fire.
tephramancy, tephromancy
a form of divination involving the examination of the ashes remaining after a sacrifice.
ustulation
Rare. the act or process of burning or searing. ustorious , ustulate , adj.
vesuvian
an early type of match that was difficult to extinguish.

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Fire

Fire

In ancient times, people considered fire one of the basic elements of the universe, along with water, air, and earth. Fire can be a friendly, comforting thing, a source of heat and light, as anyone who has ever sat by a campfire in the dark of night knows. Yet fire can also be dangerous and deadly, racing and leaping like a living thing to consume all in its path. In mythology, fire appears both as a creative, cleansing force and as a destructive, punishing one, although positive aspects of fire generally outweigh negative ones.


Symbols and Themes. People in all parts of the world tell myths and legends about fire. Numerous stories explain how people first acquired fire, either through their own daring or as a gift from an animal, god, or hero.

The ability to make and control firewhich is necessary for cooking, making pottery and glass, and metalworkingsets people apart from the animals. The Admiralty Islanders of the Pacific Ocean have a myth in which a snake asks his human children to cook some fish. The children simply heat the fish in the sun and eat it raw, so the snake gives them fire and teaches them to use it to cook their food.

Because fire warms and gives off light like the sun, it often represents the sun or a sun god in mythology. In some tales, it is linked with the idea of the hearth, the center of a household. Fire can also be a symbol of new life, as in the case of the phoenix, the mythical bird that is periodically destroyed by flames to rise reborn from its own ashes.



apocalypse prediction of a sudden and violent end of the world

Fire's energy is not always a good thing. Flames can bring punishment and suffering, as in the Christian image of hell as a place of fiery torment. Some myths of apocalypse predict that the world will end in firebut it may be a purifying, cleansing fire that will allow the birth of a fresh new world.

Because fire can be treacherous and destructive, mythical figures associated with it may be tricksters, not always to be trusted. The Norse god Loki's shifty and malicious character may have been based on the characteristics of a forest fire. Another deity associated with fire is the Greek Hephaestus (Vulcan), god of metalworking, who is usually portrayed as deformed and sullen.


Rituals. In many cultures, people practice rituals related to fire. These rituals are often based on myths and legends about fire or fire gods. In ancient Rome, a sacred flame associated with the goddess Vesta represented national well-being. Women called the Vestal Virgins had the holy duty of keeping that flame alive. The Aztecs of ancient Mexico believed that the fire god Huehueteotl kept earth and heaven in place. At the end of each cycle of 52 years, they extinguished all fires, and Huehueteotl's priests lit a new flame for the people to use. In northern Europe, which has long, dark, cold winters, fire was especially honored. Pagan fire festivals such as lighting bonfires on May 1 have continued into modern times in European communities.

trickster mischievous figure appearing in various forms in the folktales and mythology of many different peoples

deity god or goddess

ritual ceremony that follows a set pattern

pagan term used by early Christians to describe non-Christians and non-Christian beliefs

Many cultures have practiced cremation, the burning of the dead. In cremation, fire represents purification, a clean and wholesome end to earthly life. The Pima people of the southwestern United States say that fire appeared in the world to solve the problem of how people should dispose of the dead.


* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.

Fire Myths. Agni, the god of fire in Hindu mythology, represents the essential energy of life in the universe. He consumes things, but only so that other things can live. Fiery horses pull Agni's chariot, and he carries a flaming spear. Agni created the sun and the stars, and his powers are great. He can make worshipers immortal and purify the souls of the dead from sin. One ancient myth about Agni says that he consumed so many offerings from his worshipers that he was tired. To regain his strength, he had to burn an entire forest with all its inhabitants.

Chinese mythology includes stories of Hui Lu, a magician and fire god who kept 100 firebirds in a gourd. By setting them loose, he could start a fire across the whole country. There was also a hierarchy of gods in charge of fire. At its head was Lo Hsüan, whose cloak, hair, and beard were red. Flames spurted from his horse's nostrils. He was not unconquerable, however. Once when he attacked a city with swords of fire, a princess appeared in the sky and quenched his flames with her cloak of mist and dew.

The bringers of fire are legendary heroes in many traditions. Prometheus* of Greek mythology, one of the most famous fire bringers, stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans. Similar figures appear in the tales of other cultures.

Native Americans believe that long ago some evil being hid fire so that people could not benefit from it. A hero had to recover it and make it available to human beings. In many versions of the story Coyote steals fire for people, but sometimes a wolf, woodpecker, or other animal does so. According to the Navajo, Coyote tricked two monsters that guarded the flames on Fire Mountain. Then he lit a bundle of sticks tied to his tail and ran down the mountain to deliver the fire to his people.

African traditions also say that animals gave fire to humans. The San of South Africa believe that Ostrich guarded fire under his wing until a praying mantis stole it. Mantis tricked Ostrich into spreading his wings and made off with the fire. The fire destroyed Mantis, but from the ashes came two new Mantises.

Indians of the Amazon River basin in Brazil say that a jaguar rescued a boy and took him to its cave. There the boy watched the jaguar cooking food over a fire. The boy stole a hot coal from the fire and took it to his people, who then learned to cook.

Legends in the Caroline Islands of the Pacific link fire to Olofat, a mythical trickster hero who was the son of the sky god and a mortal woman. As a youth, Olofat forced his way into heaven to see his father. Later Olofat gave fire to human beings by allowing a bird to fly down to earth with fire in its beak.

Fighting Sorcery with Fire

In Europe and America, individuals accused of being witches were once burned at the stake. Many cultures have held the belief that fire destroys sorcery, or black magic. The Assyrians of ancient Mesopotamia* called upon fire to undo the effects of evil witchcraft aimed at them. They used these words:

Boil, boil, burn, burn!... As this goat's skin is torn asunder and cast into the fire, and as the blaze devours it... may the curse, the spell, the pain, the torment, the sickness, the sin, the misdeed, the crime, the suffering, that oppress my body, be torn asunder like this goat's skin! May the blaze consume them today.

immortal able to live forever

hierarchy organization of a group into higher and lower levels

A myth from Assam, in northern India, says that after losing a battle with Water, Fire hid in a bamboo stalk. Grasshopper saw it and told Monkey, who figured out how to use Fire. But a man saw Monkey and decided that he should have Fire, so he stole it from Monkey Like many stories, this myth portrays ownership of fire as a human quality Even partial control over such a powerful force of nature is one of the things that gives human society its identity.

See also Floods; Hell; Huehueteotl; Loki; Phoenix; Prometheus; Vesta; Vulcan.

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firing

firing, process of treating clay or other plastic ceramic materials with heat to produce a hard, durable but brittle material such as pottery. Primitive potters baked their clay in an open fire, but for firing at higher temperatures and for the use of glaze, a kiln is needed. In general, pottery is fired once to harden it into biscuit ware, then a glaze is applied and fused with the clay by a second firing. China painting, enamel work, and stained glass also require firing. Temperatures of firing vary from about 1,100°F (590°C) for fixing paint on glass to about 2,800°F (1,540°C) for producing hard porcelain. Certain ceramic materials, such as those used for rocket nose cones, are fired at still higher temperatures.

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firing

fir·ing / ˈfīring/ • n. the action of setting fire to something: the deliberate firing of 600 oil wells. ∎  the discharging of a gun or other weapon: the prolonged firing caused heavy losses no missile firings were planned. ∎  the dismissal of an employee from a job: the recent firing of the head of the department. ∎  the baking or drying of pottery or bricks in a kiln.

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fire

fire principle of combustion; burning material OE.; conflagration XII; heat of fever, passion, etc. XIV; firing of guns XVI. OE. fȳr = OS. fiur (Du. vuur), OHG. fiur, fuir (G. feuer) (cf. ON. poet. fúrr, fýrr), corr. to Gr. pûr, Umbrian pir, Czech pýr̆, Arm. hur, Toch. por, pwār.
Hence fire vb. OE. fȳrian supply with firing; set on fire, lit. and fig. XIII; discharge, explode XVI.

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Fire

Fire (in Hinduism): see AGNI.

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fire

fireacquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah •homebuyer

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firing

firing •handspring • hamstring • herring •headspring • wellspring •airing, ballbearing, bearing, Behring, Bering, caring, daring, fairing, hardwearing, pairing, paring, raring, sparing, Waring, wearing •talebearing • childbearing •wayfaring • seafaring • cheeseparing •time-sharing • mainspring • keyring •gee-string • watch spring • offspring •boring, flooring, Goring, riproaring, roaring, scoring, shoring •drawstring • goalscoring •outpouring • bowstring • shoestring •bullring •auctioneering, clearing, earring, electioneering, engineering, gearing, orienteering, privateering, shearing •God-fearing • puppeteering •firing, retiring, uninspiring, untiring, wiring •during, mooring, reassuring, Turing •posturing • restructuring •meandering • rendering •pondering, wandering •ordering • maundering •plundering, thundering, wondering •offering • suffering • fingering •scaremongering • hankering •flickering, Pickering •tinkering • hammering • glimmering •unmurmuring • tampering •whimpering • whispering •smattering, unflattering •earthshattering • schoolmastering •Kettering • self-catering • wittering •quartering, watering •faltering • roistering • muttering •gathering • woolgathering •blithering •flavouring (US flavoring), unwavering •quivering •manoeuvring (US maneuvering) •covering • wallcovering •Goering, stirring, unerring

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