set (something) on fire

set (something) on fire

1. To begin burning something. He was caught setting the records on fire to hide the evidence from prosecutors.
2. To do wonderful or exciting things that cause a great or remarkable sensation; to be extremely popular, famous, renowned, etc. I wouldn't be too concerned with what he thinks of you. For all his money and education, he's hardly setting the world on fire, is he? As a girl, Janet dreamed of setting the stage on fire as a famous actress.
See also: fire, on, set

set someone on fire

Fig. to excite someone; to make someone passionate. (Based on set fire to someone or something.) Her oratory set everyone on fire. Ted's presentation didn't exactly set me on fire, but it was a good summary of the project.
See also: fire, on, set

set on fire

1. Also, set fire to. Cause to ignite and burn, as in The drought and high wind combined to set the woods on fire. [c. 1400]
2. Cause to become excited, as in The music set the audience on fire. Also see catch fire; set the world on fire.
See also: fire, on, set

set something on ˈfire


1 (also set ˈfire to something) make something start burning because you want to destroy or damage it: Three youths were accused of setting the house on fire.Demonstrators had set fire to vehicles and equipment.
2 make somebody/something very interested or excited: Her new book has really set the literary critics on fire.
See also: fire, on, set, something

set on fire

1. To cause to ignite and burn.
2. To cause to become excited: The music set the audience on fire.
See also: fire, on, set
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