Definition of light a fire under in English:

light a fire under

phrase

North American
  • Stimulate (someone) to work or act more quickly or enthusiastically:

    ‘claiming that Congress doesn't work hard enough is a good way to light a fire under his colleagues’
    • ‘Massenet's strong yet impulsively teenager-ish heroine seems to have lit a fire under her, because here she is at her best.’
    • ‘I hope this challenge to his position lights a fire under his coat tails because he has the capacity to be an excellent trial attorney.’
    • ‘Eventually, I think, something will happen, some spark will be set off that lights a fire under this market.’
    • ‘I'm ready to do everything I can to make a difference and light a fire under people.’
    • ‘Maybe if I fire a couple of laggards that'll light a fire under them!’
    • ‘This is the type of bold move that will light a fire under the Yankees.’
    • ‘I think that lights a fire under the Senators to do their work quickly.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the musical subculture Tee helped build is lighting a fire under more traditional DJs looking to add some new sounds to their sets.’
    • ‘They can move mountains with their enthusiasm and energy and light a fire under almost anything.’
    • ‘Suddenly he remembered something that lit a fire under him.’
    encourage, act as a fillip to, act as a impetus to, act as a incentive to, act as a spur to, act as a stimulus to, prompt, prod, move, motivate, trigger, spark, spur on, galvanize, activate, kindle, fire, fire with enthusiasm, fuel, whet, nourish
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