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English Wikipedia has an article on:
bonfire (large controlled outside fire).

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English bonefire, bonefyre, banefyre (a fire in which bones are burnt), equivalent to bone +‎ fire.[1] Cognate with Scots banefire (bonfire). More at bone, fire.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɒnfaɪə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈbɑnfaɪɚ/
  • (file)


bonfire (plural bonfires)

  1. (obsolete) A fire in which bones are burned.
  2. A fire to burn unwanted or disreputable items or people: proscribed books, heretics etc.
  3. A large, controlled outdoor fire, as a signal or to celebrate something.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


bonfire (third-person singular simple present bonfires, present participle bonfiring, simple past and past participle bonfired)

  1. To fire (pottery) using a bonfire.
    • 2000, Moira Vincentelli, Women and Ceramics: Gendered Vessels, Manchester University Press (ISBN 9780719038402), page 42:
      Most women's traditions involve open firing such as bonfiring, pitfiring, or a fire surrounded by a low wall. More unusually, in Cyprus, Colombia and the Canaries individual potters have their own kilns.
    • 2004, Moira Vincentelli, Women Potters: Transforming Traditions, Rutgers University Press (ISBN 9780813533810), page 212:
      Bonfiring has a very direct contact between the pottery and the flame. Firing time is usually quite short and the pots are carefully supervised through the process. Bonfiring, in general, does not create the same amount of wasters as kiln firing ...
    • 2018, Kerstin Pinther, Alexandra Weigand, Flow of Forms / Forms of Flow: Design Histories between Africa and Europe, transcript Verlag (ISBN 9783839442012), page 102:
      [...] while open bonfiring was practiced mainly by women and universally used in African traditions where it has a very low failure rate. It has been characterized as technically simple though in fact it requires a hyper refined combination of specific clay body, fuel, firing technique and atmospheric conditions - formulas derived from local experimentation mainly by generations of women.
  2. To make, or celebrate around, a bonfire.
    • 2014, Joan Rust, Anniecat Chronicles, Xlibris Corporation (ISBN 9781493186877), page 131:
      [...] are all bar-b-quing, swimming, jetskiing, bonfiring, and the next thing you know everyone is gone, leaving the house empty [...]
    • 2016, Alexandra Sirowy, The Telling (ISBN 1481418912), cover summary:
      She could only dream about bonfiring with the populars.


  1. ^ bonfire” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.