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  • Writer's pictureDavid Nagai

Phrases About Fire

Updated: May 21, 2021

There are many useful phrases connected to fire. Heat, burn, blaze, warm, and of course, fire. Here are some explanations and examples:


To play with fire To do something risky and dangerous. We don’t want to play with fire. Let’s think of a safer approach.

To be on fire When someone is performing very well and very consistently. You can also say that he/she is “on a roll.” The basketball player was on fire! She scored 34 points in one game!

To put out fires To solve urgent, important problems quickly. Our job in customer service is to constantly put out fires while they're small.

To be under fire To receive harsh criticism. The doctor was under fire for using the wrong medication on patients.

To spread like wildfire When information spreads quickly and uncontrollably. The news spread like wildfire about our boss’ mistake.

To be fiery Describes someone who is passionate or sometimes quick-tempered and extreme. (It can be positive or negative depending on the context) Dr. Kwan’s speech was so fiery and motivating that she received a standing ovation at the end.

To be fired up To be excited and energized by something. The presenter was so fired up about his research.

To fire away This gives permission for someone to ask questions (like firing a gun). Can I ask a few questions? Sure. Fire away!

To fire from the hip To say something without consideration of the consequences. President Trump was known for firing from the hip.

To light a fire under someone To motivate someone to do something. My boss lit a fire under Ted so that he would start caring more about his work.


To burn out To lose motivation and energy due to doing something to extremely without proper rest. She eventually burned out because of overwork.

To burn bridges To lose trust or respect so that a relationship is broken. We want to be honest, but not burn bridges with our partners.

To get burned To be the victim of a joke or comment that makes someone look like a loser. You got burned!

When someone’s ears are burning When you realize that someone talking about you nearby. My ears were burning as I suddenly realized my coworkers were joking about my performance.

Heat & Hot

When something is heated When some situation is intense and confrontational. The conversation was heated but ended calmly.

Turn up the heat When the pressure, seriousness, or intensity of something increases. After the first ten minutes of the interview, which consisted of easy questions and small talk, the interviewers really started turning up the heat.

To be hot-headed

To be quick tempered and to speak impulsively. Sam was hot-headed and often said whatever he thought when he was angry.

When something is hot Hot can describe something or someone who is attractive or popular. Don’t you think Brad Pitt is hot? The new i-phone is so hot that it sold out in one day.

Hot off the press When something is brand new and very fresh (imagine an old printing press where the newly printed paper is hot from the printing process). Did you hear about the scandal in the news? It’s hot off the press.


To warm up to someone To become friendly or close with someone. My new pet dog was afraid of me at first, but eventually she warmed up to me.

To be a warm person To be a kind, gentle, and friendly person.

Jen is so warm to everyone she meets. She can connect with anyone.


To blaze a trail To be the first person to do something. Jon was blazing a trail with his innovative experiment.


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