fire n Fire, conflagration, holocaust are comparable when meaning a blaze that reduces or threatens to reduce one or more buildings to ashes.
Fire is the general term referable to such an event, whether it involves one or many buildings and whether it is checked or not

Chicago was nearly half destroyed by a fire that occurred in 1871


there was a small fire on our street last night

Conflagration implies a devastating fire that must be contended with by all the available forces; it usually takes a length of time to check it or to prevent its further advance

a disastrous conflagration made 2000 persons homeless


by quick work the firemen prevented the fire from developing into a conflagration

Holocaust basically denotes a burnt sacrifice, but in more general use it refers usually to a conflagration in which there has been a great loss of life and especially of human life

the burning of the Iroquois Theater at Chicago in 1903, in which nearly 600 persons lost their lives, was one of the worst holocausts ever known in the United States

In extended use holocaust usually stresses destruction of life, but it may blend in the notion of sacrifice

the Eire that had its birth in the holocaust of Easter Week— Richard Watts


an assemblage of men whose maturity has been forged in the holocaust of battle— Loveman

Analogous words: blaze, glare, flame, flare (see under BLAZE vb): burning, charring, scorching (see BURN vb)
fire vb
1 kindle, ignite, *light
Analogous words: *burn, scorch, char: *blaze, flame, flare, glare, glow: *illuminate, lighten
2 animate, inspire, *inform
Analogous words: excite, *provoke, stimulate, galvanize: *thrill, electrify: *stir, rouse, arouse: enliven, *quicken, vivify
Antonyms: daunt
Contrasted words: *dismay, appall
3 discharge, *dismiss, cashier, drop, sack, bounce
Analogous words: Cject, oust, expel: *discard

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fire — (f[imac]r), n. [OE. fir, fyr, fur AS. f[=y]r; akin to D. vuur, OS. & OHG. fiur, G. feuer, Icel. f[=y]ri, f[=u]rr, Gr. py^r, and perh. to L. purus pure, E. pure Cf. {Empyrean}, {Pyre}.] 1. The evolution of light and heat in the combustion of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • FIRE — (Heb. אֵשׁ). In the Bible Once humans discovered that fire could be maintained and exploited for their needs, it became one of their most important assets. Fire was used for light, warmth, cooking, roasting, baking, in waging war, and in various… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • fire — [fīr] n. [ME fyr < OE, akin to Ger feuer < IE base * pewōr > Gr pyra, PYRE, Czech pýř, glowing embers] 1. the active principle of burning, characterized by the heat and light of combustion 2. fuel burning in a furnace, fireplace, etc. 3 …   English World dictionary

  • fire — ► NOUN 1) the state of burning, in which substances combine chemically with oxygen from the air and give out bright light, heat, and smoke. 2) an instance of destructive burning. 3) wood or coal burnt in a hearth or stove for heating or cooking.… …   English terms dictionary

  • Fire — Fire, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Fired}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Fring}.] 1. To set on fire; to kindle; as, to fire a house or chimney; to fire a pile. [1913 Webster] 2. To subject to intense heat; to bake; to burn in a kiln; as, to fire pottery. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fire!! — was an African American literary magazine published in 1926 during the Harlem Renaissance. The publication was started by Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, John P. Davis, Richard Bruce Nugent, Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen,… …   Wikipedia

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  • fire — [n1] burning blaze, bonfire, campfire, charring, coals, combustion, conflagration, devouring, element, embers, flame and smoke, flames, flare, glow, hearth, heat, holocaust, hot spot*, incandescence, inferno, luminosity, oxidation, phlogiston,… …   New thesaurus

  • Fire It Up — can refer to: * Fire It Up (album) , a 1979 album by funk singer Rick James * Fire It Up (Rick James song) , a single also released by Rick James from the same album. * Fire It Up (Black Label Society song) , a 2005 single released from hard rock …   Wikipedia

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