not set the world on fire

set the world on fire

To do wonderful or exciting things that cause a great or remarkable sensation in the world; to become extremely popular, famous, renowned, etc. Often used in the negative to indicate the opposite. 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 world on fire as a famous actress.
See also: fire, on, set, world

not set the world on fire


not set the world alight

If someone or something does not set the world on fire or does not set the world alight, they do not cause great excitement or interest. The 29-year-old Frenchman hasn't exactly set the tennis world on fire. The series isn't setting the world alight, despite some good writing and solid performances.
See also: fire, not, on, set, world

not/never set the ˈworld on fire

(British English also not/never set the ˈThames on fire) (informal) never do anything exciting, unusual or wonderful: He’s good, but he’ll never set the world on fire. He’s not dynamic enough.
The Thames is the large river that runs through London.
See also: fire, never, not, on, set, world