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Related to afire: afore
like a house afire
Very quickly or rapidly and with great force or intensity. Out of nowhere, this crazed bull started charging at us like a house afire! John hit the acceleration and started careening down the road like a house afire. I can't wait for you to meet Mark. I just know the two of you will get on like a house afire!
get on like a house afire
Of two or more people, to enjoy one another's company very much from the start and become good friends at once. (Used when people are meeting for the first time.) I can't wait for you to meet Mark, I just know the two of you will get on like a house afire! I was worried about my university friends meeting my new girlfriend, but everyone got on like a house afire.
To light (something) on fire. Do they know how the building was set afire? The trash can was probably set afire by some punk kids looking for trouble on a Friday night.
like a house on fire
Very quickly or rapidly and with great force or intensity. Out of nowhere, this crazed bull started charging at us like a house on fire! John hit the gas and started careening down the road like a house on fire. I can't wait for you to meet Mark. I just know the two of you will get on like a house on fire!
1. To interact (with someone) in a mutually friendly or amiable way. I'm glad you finally got to meet my brother—I knew you two would get along. My grandparents have been married for over 50 years and they still get along!
2. To depart. Oh, I need to get along now, or else I'll miss the train!
3. To progress, as in age. Unfortunately, my arthritis bothers me more as I get along in years.
4. To endure or persevere. Now that I've been laid off, I don't know how my family will get along.
1. [for people or animals] to be amiable with one another. Those two just don't get along. They seem to get along just fine.
2. to leave; to be on one's way. I've got to get along. It's getting late. It's time for me to get along. See you later.
get along (on a shoestring)and get by (on a shoestring)
Fig. to be able to afford to live on very little money. For the last two years, we have had to get along on a shoestring. With so many expenses, it's hard to get by on a shoestring.
like a house on fireand like a house afire
Rur. rapidly and with force. The truck came roaring down the road like a house on fire. The crowd burst through the gate like a house afire.
1. Also, get on. Be or continue to be on harmonious terms. For example, She finds it hard to get along with her in-laws, or He gets on well with all of his neighbors except one. The use of along dates from the late 1800s; the use of on dates from the early 1800s. A colloquial synonym for get along well is get on like a house afire, in effect comparing increasingly good relations to the rapid progress of a fire.
2. Also, get on. Manage, fare with some success; also, prosper. For example, I can just get along in this town on those wages, or Her way of getting on in the world was to marry a rich man. The use of on dates from the late 1700s; the variant dates from the early 1800s.
3. get along without. Manage without something, as in With that new car loan, he can't get along without a raise. [Early 1800s]
4. Also, get on. Progress; advance, especially in years. For example, How are you getting along with the refinishing? or Dad doesn't hear too well; he's getting on, you know. [Late 1700s] Also see along in years; get on, def. 5.
5. get along with you. Go away; also, be quiet, drop the subject, as in "Leave me. Get along with you" (Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, 1837). [First half of 1800s] Also see get on.
like a house afire
see under get along, def. 1.
1. To be or continue to be on harmonious terms with someone: I never got along with the mail carrier. Do you think the cats and dogs will get along if we put them in a cage together?
2. To manage or fare, especially with reasonable success: There's no way I can get along on those wages. How are you getting along these days?
3. To advance or make progress, especially in age: He's not as athletic as he was before, but he is getting along in age.
4. To go away; leave: She told the children to get along and leave her to her work.
like a house afire/on fire
Very quickly and efficiently; very well. The simile is based on how houses made of timber or thatch burn very fast, as was the case with the log cabins of American pioneers. Washington Irving used the expression in Knickerbocker’s History of New York (1809), “At it they went like five hundred houses on fire,” and Dickens is quoted as having used it to mean very well (“I am getting on . . . like ‘a house on fire’”) in a letter of 1837.