catch fire


  • WordNet 3.6
    • v catch fire start to burn or burst into flames "Marsh gases ignited suddenly","The oily rags combusted spontaneously"
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Every 45 seconds, a house catches on fire in the United States
    • Catch fire to become ignited, to be inspired by passion or zeal
    • ***


  • John Wesley
    “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
  • Horace
    “It is your business when the wall next door catches fire.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From O. Fr. cachier—Late L. captiāre for captāre, inten. of capĕre, to take. See Chase.


In literature:

The latter were taken unawares, but they sprang to their arms and opened fire on catching sight of the English.
"From Farm House to the White House" by William M. Thayer
Bittorf, at Mannheim, saw his balloon catch fire in the air; and he, too, fell, and was killed!
"A Winter Amid the Ice" by Jules Verne
These toy ships, of course, catch fire from the lanterns.
"The Empire of the East" by H. B. Montgomery
Flannelette is made of cotton, so it is not warm like wool, and it catches fire easily, as cotton-wool does.
"How Girls Can Help Their Country" by Juliette Low
You never saw Jeff catch fire.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
But we came back feeling that we must learn more of the power of prayer ourselves if these cold souls are to catch fire.
"Things as They Are" by Amy Wilson-Carmichael
He found their deserted wigwams and the embers of their fires, but could not catch sight of a single native.
"King Philip" by John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
Windows, catching the low sun, blazed like patches of fire.
"Mummery" by Gilbert Cannan
But Geirrod, thinking to catch Thor off his guard, snatched up a red-hot wedge of iron from the fire and flung it at him.
"Told by the Northmen:" by E. M. [Ethel Mary] Wilmot-Buxton
If another person's clothing catches fire, throw him to the ground and smother the fire with a coat, blanket, or rug.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America

In poetry:

Night swallows what’s old
when faith catches fire.
The will reawakes,
sparks leap ever higher.
"The Will" by Eberhard Arnold
by the sea they said little.
But their message to the future
was: Build well. In the fire
of an evening I catch faces
"Sarn Rhiw" by R S Thomas
Fly if your pigtail catches fire
Dive down the nearest sink
Remember if you wash a pancake
It's underwear's sure to shrink.
"Devil May Not Care" by Billy Bennett
Snapp'd as in wrath that they should echo tones
To catch the ear, even in wailing moans
For all the change that quench'd their fire and heat.
"The Veiled Memnon" by Alexander Anderson
Oh, Warton! to thy soothing shell,
Stretch'd remote in hermit cell,
Where the brook runs babbling by,
For ever I could listening lie;
And catching all the muses' fire,
Hold converse with the tuneful quire.
"Lines On Reading The Poems Of Wharton" by Henry Kirke White
When first Thou on me, Lord, wroughtest Thy sweet print,
My heart was made Thy tinder-box,
My 'ffections were Thy tinder in't,
Where fell Thy sparks by drops.
Those holy sparks of heavenly fire that came
Did ever catch and often out would flame.
"Ebb and Flow" by Edward Taylor

In news:

Every now and then, a certain food will catch fire.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. A car went over a cliff on Old Stage Road, catching fire and starting a grass fire west of The Broadmoor.
Plane catches on fire after collision with deer.
When Brett Sigworth used spray-on sunscreen while grilling , he never thought it could make his skin catch fire.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers likes this cranked-up defense, but can they keep it up and catch fire.
Platform in Gulf of Mexico catches fire Friday morning.
Truck hauling hamburgers on Interstate 84 overturns and catches fire.
Franklin house catches fire twice in one day.
Jena Malone added to 'Catching Fire'.
Jena Malone has been cast in Lionsgate's "Catching Fire" as Johanna Mason, a past victor of the Hunger Games.
Jena Malone is being considered for an important role in the 'Hunger Games' sequel 'Catching Fire,' according to reports.
Somewhere, somehow, a Fisker Karma catches fire, and the company rushes in its inspectors and engineers to analyze the incident.
A jury has decided that a Syracuse doctor isn't to blame for an operating-room mishap that caused a pregnant woman to catch fire during a cesarean section delivery.
Luxury limo catches fire on expressway in San Benito.
He said something sparked that caused the wood to catch on fire.