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fire


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One of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius).

fire and brimstone torment in hell; often with biblical allusion, as in Revelation 19:20.

fire in the belly a powerful sense of ambition or determination.

fire is a good servant but a bad master acknowledgement that fire is both essential for living and potentially destructive. The saying is recorded from the early 17th century.

Fire of London the huge and devastating fire which destroyed some 13,000 houses over 400 acres of London between 2 and 6 September 1666, having started in a bakery in Pudding Lane in the City of London.

go through fire and water face any peril. Originally with reference to the medieval practice of trial by ordeal, which could take the form of making an accused person hold or walk on red-hot iron or of throwing them into water.

light a fire under in North American usage, stimulate someone to work or act more quickly or enthusiastically.

set the world on fire do something remarkable or sensational (often in negative contexts). A variant in British English is, set the Thames on fire.

see also ball of fire, the burnt child dreads the fire, dirty water will quench fire, draw someone's fire, if you play with fire, no smoke without fire, three removals are as bad as a fire.

Subjects: Religion.


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