One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The back wall of a fireplace.
- ‘The original fireplace in the hall proved to have an elegant curved back and a decorative fireback of herringbone brick and was surmounted by a massive pine lintel.’
- ‘A smoke shelf may be formed above the fireback.’
- ‘We have perfected a way of replacing broken and cracked firebacks now, without the need to disrupt the fireplace itself.’
- ‘If the fireback needs repairing, use heat-resistant fire cement, obtainable from builders' merchants.’
- ‘Side by side with his mining operations he extended his activities to the production of firebacks and other articles for use in building operations where resistance to great heat was required, notably blast furnaces.’
- 1.1 A metal plate covering the back wall of a fireplace.
- ‘Among the offerings are andirons, damper hooks, fenders, firebacks, fire-tool sets, and screens.’
- ‘Early firebacks are generally very thick; an inch or more, but modern founders were more sparing with their ore.’
- ‘The output for these furnaces was pig iron, a coarse and brittle product that could be used only for casting crude heavy items such as kettles, stove plates, and firebacks.’
- ‘A stylish Philadelphia parlor is conceptually incomplete if the fireplace is not fitted with wrought-iron andirons and a cast-iron fireback.’
- ‘Museums display a few French cast iron mortars, and in the 17th and 18th centuries fine decorated firebacks were cast in the Sussex and Kentish Weald.’
2A SE Asian pheasant, the male of which has mainly grey or blue plumage with a reddish rump.
Genus Lophura, family Phasianidae: three species
- ‘We have a few pairs of Siamese Fireback Pheasants for sale.’
- ‘My private encounter with a family of crested firebacks, one of the many stunning partridges in the area, will long remain in my mind's eye.’
- ‘In the same area we were fortunate to freeze in position as we watched three Siamese firebacks (a type of partridge) scratching for food in the leaves under a large bush.’
- ‘The Siamese Fireback cock pheasant is an impressive bird with bright red wattles and legs.’
- ‘Like all fireback pheasants, the crestless fireback possesses impressive facial decorations that play an important part in courtship displays.’
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