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See also: underfire


Prepositional phraseEdit

under fire

  1. Subjected to enemy attack with firearms.
  2. (figuratively) Criticized or held responsible for something.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      The clerk had, I'm afraid, a shrew of a wife—shrill, vehement, and fluent. [] He had learned, by long experience, the best tactique under fire: he became actually taciturn; or, if he spoke, his speech was laconic and enigmatical; sometimes throwing out a proverb, and sometimes a text; and sometimes when provoked past endurance, spouting mildly a little bit of meek and venomous irony.
    • 2009, Michael O'Connor, Quadrant, November 2009, No. 461 (Volume LIII, Number 11), Quadrant Magazine Limited, page 2:
      Meanwhile, the government's own Human Services department is under fire from the Ombudsman for its failure to protect children in its care.