set fire to


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set fire to someone or something

 and set someone or something on fire
to ignite someone or something; to put someone or something to flames. The thief set fire to the building. The poor man accidentally set himself on fire.
See also: fire, set

set fire to

To cause to ignite and burn.
See also: fire, set
References in classic literature ?
General Eble had just set fire to the supports on the other bank.
Is it for this I name you captain of my Musketeers, that they should assassinate a man, disturb a whole quarter, and endeavor to set fire to Paris, without your saying a word?
He now declared his intention to remain on board of the ship until daylight, to decoy as many of the savages on board as possible, then to set fire to the powder magazine, and terminate his life by a signal of vengeance.
One of the fishermen struck light from a stone, set fire to some tinder, and by the aid of a match lit a lantern.
But human life is of small account beyond thirty--a legacy from the bloody days when thousands of men perished in the trenches between the rising and the setting of a sun, when they laid them lengthwise in these same trenches and sprinkled dirt over them, when the Germans corded their corpses like wood and set fire to them, when women and children and old men were butchered, and great passenger ships were torpedoed without warning.
I understand all perfectly, sir," replied Groslow; "but allow me to say there is great danger in what you undertake; would it not be better to intrust one of the men to set fire to the train?
In these regions there is a fresh sweet growth of grass in the spring, but it is scanty and short, and parches up in the course of the summer, so that there is none for the hunters to set fire to in the autumn.
Herostratus, or Eratostratus--an Ephesian, who wantonly set fire to the famous temple of Diana, in order to commemorate his name by so uncommon an action.
I supposed he was going to set fire to the liquid and swallow it, so I was greatly wrought up and interested.
And then, without warning, a mob arose one night, and, under a waving American flag, singing patriotic songs, set fire to the great plant of the Appeal and totally destroyed it.
Why, it was only last week I read in the paper how a man and his wife up west of the Island took a boy out of an orphan asylum and he set fire to the house at night--set it ON PURPOSE, Marilla--and nearly burnt them to a crisp in their beds.
He set fire to his house to get the insurance and then blamed ME for doing it.
In any case they were ready, and they had only to wait for the moment to set fire to them.
Pedro Gailhard the reason, and he replied: "It was because the management was afraid that, in their utter inexperience of the cellars of the Opera, the firemen might set fire to the building
I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's war.