Share this entry
bonfire Syllabification: bon·fire
Pronunciation: /ˈbänˌfī(ə)r/

Definition of bonfire in English:


A large open-air fire used as part of a celebration, for burning trash, or as a signal.
Example sentences
  • She added that the annual Halloween celebrations will see bonfires on the area, only making things worse than they already are.
  • A warning has gone out to people thinking of having bonfires in their gardens after a fire went out of control.
  • We ask people to be aware of the litter laws and not dump any type of rubbish for the bonfires on the greens.


Late Middle English: from bone + fire. The term originally denoted a large open-air fire on which bones were burned (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'.

Words that rhyme with bonfire

crossfire • bushfire • gunfire
Definition of bonfire in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words