Definition of bonfire in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbänˌfī(ə)r/


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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bon·fire

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