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fire - definition and synonyms

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verb     fire pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefiring
past tensefired
past participlefired
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if a weapon fires, or if someone fires it, someone uses it to shoot

    She squeezed the trigger, but the gun failed to fire.

    fire at:

    Jed lifted his rifle and fired at the target.

    fire on/upon:

    Police threatened to fire on demonstrators.

    fire a gun/weapon:

    The rebels fired their machine guns into the air.

    fire a bullet/round/shot/missile etc:

    Several shots were fired, and three men were seen running away.

    fire back (=shoot at someone who is shooting at you):

    The gunmen fired, and police fired back.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] to make someone leave their job, sometimes as a punishment

    She was fired for refusing to comply with safety regulations.

    He’s the person responsible for hiring and firing.

  3. 3
    [transitive] if you fire questions at someone, you ask them a lot of questions very quickly, so that it is difficult for them to answer
    fire questions at someone:

    Reporters fired questions at her as she left the court house.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] if an engine fires, it starts to work
  5. 5
    [transitive] to bake clay at a very high temperature so that it becomes very hard
    Synonyms and related words
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