Definition of bonfire in English:

bonfire

noun

  • A large open-air fire used as part of a celebration, for burning trash, or as a signal.

    • ‘Warnings have also been issued in relation to fire hazards caused by Hallowe'en bonfires.’
    • ‘The pair had been setting off fireworks, lighting fires and throwing aerosol cans onto a bonfire.’
    • ‘The embers from the dying bonfires still burned, casting ghostly shadows over the ground.’
    • ‘Last week, I got up at three in the morning, lit a bonfire in my garden, and started fixing the grass.’
    • ‘The burning of life-sized effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires is a relatively new custom.’
    • ‘We ask people to be aware of the litter laws and not dump any type of rubbish for the bonfires on the greens.’
    • ‘There are often bonfires in the back garden of that house.’
    • ‘Asked to dispose of it, he quietly burnt it on a bonfire in his back garden in Cheshire, the court heard.’
    • ‘The bonfire of burning bras has finally died down and we should admit effeminacy is killing the arts.’
    • ‘I was also familiar with bonfires and trash fires, and with the intense heat which they produced.’
    • ‘A warning has gone out to people thinking of having bonfires in their gardens after a fire went out of control.’
    • ‘The fire is believed to have been caused by a bonfire which got out of control.’
    • ‘Of course, the smoke did not affect their own houses because the bonfire was at the bottom of their gardens.’
    • ‘But it must also go up to acknowledge that, at that very moment, bonfires of celebration are being lit from one end of the land to the other.’
    • ‘Across in Biggar, the bonfire celebrations date back to the pagan times when fire was worshipped.’
    • ‘Celebrations went on late into the night with bonfires blazing around the deputy's home village of Ardfert.’
    • ‘It was celebrated with bonfires, parades and people dressing up as saints, angels and devils.’
    • ‘She added that the annual Halloween celebrations will see bonfires on the area, only making things worse than they already are.’
    • ‘Potentially dangerous bonfires will also be removed in the run-up to November 5.’
    • ‘Firefighters are warning that bonfires can become infernos in the current spell of hot weather.’
    warning fire, warning light, signal fire, signal light, smoke signal, beam, signal, danger signal, guiding light
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from bone + fire. The term originally denoted a large open-air fire on which bones were burnt (sometimes as part of a celebration), also one for burning heretics or proscribed literature. Dr Johnson accepted the mistaken idea that the word came from French bon ‘good’.

Pronunciation

bonfire

/ˈbänˌfī(ə)r//ˈbɑnˌfaɪ(ə)r/