A nuclear fireball (1)



fire +‎ ball





fireball (plural fireballs)

  1. A ball of fire, especially one associated with an explosion.
    • 2021 March 14, Drachinifel, 1:05:17 from the start, in The Drydock - Episode 137[1], archived from the original on 8 November 2022:
      At the time of this photo, Royal Marine Gunner Bryan Gasson is pretty much dead center in this photo, and yes, that means HE IS LITERALLY INSIDE THAT SOCKING GREAT FIREBALL as the magazines detonate.
  2. (astronomy) A meteor bright enough to cast shadows.
    Synonym: bolis
    Coordinate terms: comet, meteorite
    • 2003, Trevor Palmer, Paul D. Taylor, Robert N. Brandon, Perilous Planet Earth: Catastrophes and Catastrophism Through the Ages, →ISBN:
      In January 1999, a fireball exploded over Alaska.
    • 2005, Surendra Verma, The Mystery of the Tunguska Fireball, →ISBN, page 234:
      Moments later a second satellite records a fireball exploding in the clouded sky.
  3. (figurative) A feisty, strong-willed person.
    • 1954 October 3, Dorothy Cooper, “Bud Takes Up the Dance”, in Father Knows Best, season 1, episode 1, spoken by Betty:
      Her folks have a lot of money. I've never seen her, but she must be quite a fireball.
    • 2022 February 23, Jocelyn Samara D., “Tie the Knot”, in Rain[2] (webcomic):
      "And Lydia's a sassy little fireball. Today's her first day of first grade, and I'm just glad her teacher hasn't had to call."
  4. (sailing) A class of sailing dinghy with a single trapeze and a symmetrical spinnaker, sailed by a crew of two.
  5. (heraldry) A charge made of a disc-shaped bomb shell, with four sets of flames, at the top, bottom and on either side.
  6. (military, historical) A ball filled with combustibles to be thrown among enemies.

Derived terms



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



fireball (third-person singular simple present fireballs, present participle fireballing, simple past and past participle fireballed)

  1. (intransitive) To explode in a ball of flame.
    The car swerved off a road, hit a wall, and fireballed as the petrol tank exploded.
  2. (baseball) To pitch the ball very fast.
  3. (transitive, fantasy) To attack with balls of fire.



fireball (not comparable)

  1. (slang) Excellent; terrific.
    • 1954, John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday, published 1960, page xxxix. 202:
      "Give us a hand," said Mack. "How's she look?" "Fireball," said Eddie.