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Catch fire   /kætʃ fˈaɪər/   Listen
Catch fire

Start to burn or burst into flames.  Synonyms: combust, conflagrate, erupt, ignite, take fire.  "The oily rags combusted spontaneously"

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Catch fire" Quotes from Famous Books

... painted in imitation of black marble, I covered with damask, and fringed it. I sent Fanny down for mother and Aunt Merce. They declared, at once, they were stifled; too many things in the room; too warm; too dark; the fringe on the mantel would catch fire and burn me up; too much trouble to take care of it. What was under the carpet that made it so soft and the steps so noiseless? How nice it was! Temperance, who had been my aid, arrived at ...
— The Morgesons • Elizabeth Stoddard

... imperative. He had long been accustomed to danger, and now he faced it with his indomitable energy, as if such scenes were his proper element:—"Down from your horses," cried he; "let two of you keep them steady. Strip off your shirts, linen, anything that will catch fire; quick, not a minute is to be lost." Saying this, he ignited some tinder with the pan of his pistol, and was soon busy in making a fire with all the clothes we now threw to him. Then we tore up withered grass and Buffalo-dung, and ...
— Monsieur Violet • Frederick Marryat

... toys into the procession to enliven the birth of the Messiah. The little animals, fat and round as eggs, seemed to be so pleased that at times they would take a leap, lose their balance, fall, and catch fire. The owner would then hasten to extinguish such burning enthusiasm, puffing and blowing until he finally beat out the fire, and then, seeing his toy destroyed, would fall to weeping. The cochero observed with sadness that the race of little paper animals disappeared ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... her eyes. "Always now ... no answer. Like trying to speak with some one dead. So Grandfather fears he was not only studying art. You know how he is too quick to catch fire. And too easily, he might believe those men who spin words like spider's webs. Also he was very sore losing his arm, by some small stupid chance; and there was bitterness for that ...
— Far to Seek - A Romance of England and India • Maud Diver

... his new master, was in every respect a great contrast with Mr Gordon. He was not so brilliant in his acquirements, nor so vigorous in his teaching, and therefore clever boys did not catch fire from him so much as from the fourth-form master. But he was a far truer and deeper Christian; and, with no less scrupulous a sense of honour and detestation of every form of moral obliquity, he never ...
— Eric, or Little by Little • Frederic W. Farrar

... morning, for at each church they passed they stopped for a Hymn and Holy Water. And, by the way, we were told that one of these same choice Friars, who had been set to watching the body while it lay in state, fell asleep one night, and let the Tapers catch fire of the rich Velvet Mantle, lined with Ermine and powdered over with gold Flower-de-Luces, which melted all the candles, and burnt off one of the feet of the Departed, before it wakened ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 2 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... and burst into a thousand stars, she did not believe that the world itself could contain a more lovely sight. But presently her happiness came to a rude conclusion, for a bit of burning squib struck her arm, causing her fine muslin dress to catch fire, and the little girl's arm was somewhat severely hurt. She put out the fire at once, and determined to hide the fact that she was rather ...
— Girls of the Forest • L. T. Meade

... Soldier himself was beginning to wonder how he could save his toy friend. He could not scramble up the string, as the Clown had done, and, if he did, the Bold Captain might catch fire himself. ...
— The Story of a Bold Tin Soldier • Laura Lee Hope

... interrupted her. "Oh, let the darn place catch fire! I'm going to make a fire, I ...
— Our Mr. Wrenn - The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man • Sinclair Lewis

... Sometimes he would omit the "vanishing lady" act, as Helen wanted to put through some extra work with Rosebud, and there was not time for both. Again he would leave out some of his acrobatic work, or perhaps not do the trick of seeming to catch fire and extinguishing the flames in Benny Turton's tank. Once in a while he would omit the ten ...
— Joe Strong The Boy Fire-Eater - The Most Dangerous Performance on Record • Vance Barnum

... the field. He pertinently asked:—"Will the Bourbons, blind to their own interests, wish the spirit of independence to cross the Atlantic? Can they be exempt from fear, lest their own colonists should catch fire at the doctrine of the unlimited rights of mankind, and prefer them to slavery and digging of gold? And will not great danger arise from the vicinity of powerful states freed from European control?" Finally, it was urged in defence ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... o'er the green, All die away.—— For now the sun, slow moving in his grandeur, Above the eastern mountains lifts his head. The webs of dew spread o'er the hoary lawn, The smooth clear bosom of the settled pool, The polish'd ploughshare on the distant field, Catch fire from him, and dart their new got beams Upon die ...
— Poems, &c. (1790) • Joanna Baillie

... careful what you do," said Clive. "The end of the chamber below is full of dry fagots. If they were to catch fire, what would come ...
— Among the Brigands • James de Mille

... least good to you, is worth all the trumpet blowing of a vulgar fame. Oh, of course, I do not exaggerate, though your generosity does. I understand the case as it is. We burn straw and it warms us. My verses catch fire from you as you read them, and so you see them in that light of your own. But it is something to be used to such an end by such a man, and I thank you, thank you, and so does my husband, for the deep pleasure you have given us in ...
— The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Volume II • Elizabeth Barrett Browning

... the houses. It's vile, vile! Aie, what's he about?" he shouted, suddenly noticing a fireman at the top of the burning lodge, under whom the roof had almost burnt away and round whom the flames were beginning to flare up. "Pull him down! Pull him down! He will fall, he will catch fire, put him out!... What is he ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... declared "Big Jack." He explained that by reversing the fan they could draw the smoke up through the air-course, which would clear the main passages for a time. "But, you see, some coal might catch fire, and some timbers; there might be falls of rock so they couldn't work some of ...
— King Coal - A Novel • Upton Sinclair

... it. The sweat ran down his cheeks, but every time the wood was about to catch fire his strength would give out, and he was obliged to rest, and when he began again the wood ...
— An American Robinson Crusoe - for American Boys and Girls • Samuel. B. Allison

... frighten ladies whose nervousness for their safety seems to increase in direct proportion to the degree of tranquillity their charms create in the male bosom. She decided it would be unwise regularly to undress; the boat might catch fire or blow up or something. She took off skirt, hat and ties, loosened her waist, and lay upon the lower of the two plain, hard little berths. The throb of the engines, the beat of the huge paddles, made ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

Words linked to "Catch fire" :   light up, erupt, change state, blow out, turn, burn, catch

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