• WordNet 3.6
    • n bonfire a large outdoor fire that is lighted as a signal or in celebration
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Tom Wolfe was paid $5 million for the film rights to his novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, the most ever earned by an author.
    • n Bonfire A large fire built in the open air, as an expression of public joy and exultation, or for amusement. "Full soon by bonfire and by bell,
      We learnt our liege was passing well."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bonfire A fire of bones.
    • n bonfire A funeral pile; a pyre.
    • n bonfire A fire for the burning of heretics, proscribed books, etc.
    • n bonfire Any great blazing fire made in the open air for amusement, or for the burning of brushwood, weeds, rubbish, etc. Specifically
    • n bonfire A fire kindled, usually in some open and conspicuous place, such as a hill-top or public square, as an expression of public joy or exultation, or as a beacon.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Bonfire bon′fīr a large fire in the open air on occasions of public rejoicing, &c
    • Bonfire originally a fire in which bones were burnt
    • ***


  • Shunryu Suzuki
    Shunryu Suzuki
    “When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. bonefire, banefire, orig. a fire of bones; bone, + fire,; but cf. also Prov. E. bun, a dry stalk


In literature:

The bonfire blazed higher and higher.
"The Little Colonel's House Party" by Annie Fellows Johnston
But there were many lights in San Antonio, and on the outskirts two great bonfires burned.
"The Texan Scouts" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Meanwhile, bonfires had been kindled in the yard.
"Memories" by Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers
Are they lighting bonfires here?
"His Masterpiece" by Emile Zola
The smoke of bonfires, in which blazed the futile proclamations of the King, was wafted through its branches.
"Bay State Monthly, Volume I, No. 2, February, 1884" by Various
What do you think of the bonfire?
"Willy Reilly The Works of William Carleton, Volume One" by William Carleton
Tell him, Barney, we'll be there, and bring what we can to help the bonfire.
"The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector The Works of William Carleton, Volume One" by William Carleton
Think of all the bonfires we have made!
"The Brownies and Other Tales" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
If ever I get well I shall show my joy by making a bonfire of them.
"The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846" by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett
On every church and farm-house of large size, straight lines of little bonfires were built along the edges of the roof.
"In Indian Mexico (1908)" by Frederick Starr

In poetry:

The smoke's smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.
"Digging 2" by Edward Thomas
Black Julius peered out from the galley fly;
Behind Jim Island, lying long and dim;
An infra owl-light tinged the twilight sky
As if a bonfire burned for cherubim.
"Hag-Hollerin' Time" by William Hervey Allen Jr
"I' faith 'tis an excellent bonfire!" quoth he,
"And the country is greatly obliged to me,
For ridding it in these times forlorn
Of Rats that only consume the corn."
"God's Judgment on a Wicked Bishop" by Robert Southey
Bonfires are blazing and rockets ascend —
No meager triumphs such tokens portend;
Shout, shout! my brothers, for "all, all is well!"
'Tis the universal chorus,
Ring, ring the bell.
"Ring the Bell, Watchman!" by Henry Clay Work
And let bonfires be kindled on every hill
And let her subjects dance around them at their freewill;
And try to drive dull care away
By singing and rejoicing on the Queen's Jubilee day.
"An Ode to the Queen on Her Jubilee Year" by William Topaz McGonagall
And is it true that only now
Life lifts from her heroic brow
The smothering shroud of deadly peace,
And laughs to sniff the morning air,
And bids a thousand bonfires flare
The news of her release?
"For Valour" by John Le Gay Brereton

In news:

Celebration turns to tragedy when three-story bonfire tower explodes, killing two.
Authorities in southeastern Michigan say an 18-year-old woman and her 27-year-old brother were killed when the woman ignited a two-story bonfire built for her high school graduation party.
Autopsies performed on Michigan bonfire victims.
Authorities in southeastern Michigan say an 18-year-old woman and her 27-year-old brother were killed when the woman ignited a two-story bonfire built for the woman's high school graduation party.
Twelve portals surround the Bonfire Memorial in College Station.
They represent the number of Texas A&M students who lost their lives in the collapse of the annual bonfire in 1999.
The bonfire continues as an unsanctioned event today.
7 Injured in Explosion at Bonfire in West Michigan.
Several teens were seriously burned Saturday night after a bonfire reportedly "exploded" in Conklin.
Humarock homeowners upset over town's July 3rd handling of bonfire ban.
Bonfire of the vanities.
The funding scheme, which has been ongoing for several years, aims to monitor the dozen signature 12th of July bonfires in the area and ensure that no tyres are burnt at a cost to the environment and emergency services.
The bonfire used to symbolize a burning desire to beat the University of Texas, but with Texas A&M playing in the Southeastern Conference, things are different.
The drought kept the off-campus bonfire from burning in years past.
Bonfire night revellers burn Armstrong effigy on Guy Fawkes night.