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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The oil tanker was afire.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Afire \A*fire"\ ([.a]*f[imac]r"), adv. & a. [Pref. a- + fire.] On fire.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, afure, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + fire (n.). Figurative use by late 14c.


a. on fire


adj. lighted up by or as by fire or flame; "forests set ablaze (or afire) by lightning"; "even the car's tires were aflame"; "a night aflare with fireworks"; "candles alight on the tables"; "blazing logs in the fireplace"; "a burning cigarette"; "a flaming crackling fire"; "houses on fire" [syn: ablaze(p), afire(p), aflame(p), aflare(p), alight(p), blazing, burning, flaming, on fire(p)]

Usage examples of "afire".

A small deal table was jammed into the fireplace and had been set afire several rimes but had smoldered out.

Two goblins hurtled out in their wake, scratching and biting and both afire from head to foot.

It will set afire any flammable material around the hole that it punches, including human fat.

All the universe afire with the possibilities of light, and madness, too.

His chest was hot and tight, his eyes were afire with the sight of her and his hands ached to touch her splendid face.

Everywhere Danlo looked, the faces of the man-swarm were bright with wonder and hope: one hundred thousand faces afire with longing, with the overwhelming need to be released from their suffering.

There was light everywhere, coming not from candles set afire, but streaming in through the windows in lovely parallel lines of emerald and blue.

His blue eyes were afire now, his Scots accent growing thicker by the second.

His dry throat struggled to roar, his hands clawed uncontrollably at the air, and his guts seemed afire and yet light and free.

El sprang back, gagging, but the bones and the horrible puddle that had been Nadrathen were already afire, blazing from within.

Mystra murmured, and the kiss and caress that set him afire then also whirled him end over end, away.

It was afire with light and covered in rainbows and on its back rode a magician in black.

Now, as he stood before her, naked torso gleaming in the candlelight, muscles rippling, eyes afire with their ebony fury, she was bleakly sorry.

The Firelord took dragon form to fight Erreth-Akbe, but was defeated at last, at the cost of the forests and cities of Ilien, which he set afire as he fought.

A blast of heat swept up the stairs, so fierce that for a moment I thought it must have set my hair afire as I staggered backward into the kitchen.