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1. verb Literally, to fire or begin firing a gun (at someone). The troops opened fire as soon as they saw the militants exit the building.
2. verb By extension, to begin attacking, criticizing, or interrogating someone. The reporters opened fire on the commissioner with a barrage of intense questions.
3. noun A fire not contained by a fireplace or stove. There's nothing quite like roasting marshmallows over an open fire.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
open fire (on someone or something)
to begin shooting at someone or something. The troops opened fire on the enemy. The trainees opened fire on the target.
(on someone) Fig. to start (doing something, such as asking questions or criticizing). (Based on open fire on someone or something.) The reporters opened fire on the mayor. When the reporters opened fire, the mayor was smiling, but not for long.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Begin a verbal attack, as in In her second letter to the editor she opened fire, saying the reporter had deliberately misquoted her . This idiom alludes to discharging a firearm. [Mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
open ˈfire (on somebody/something)start shooting (at somebody/something): The officer gave the order to open fire on the enemy. OPPOSITE: hold your fire
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To begin firing a gun or guns.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.