from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A balloon beneath and attached to which is a fire by which the air contained in it is heated and rarefied, thus causing it to rise.
  • noun A balloon sent up at night with fireworks, which ignite at a regulated height.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word fire-balloon.


  • Making a fire-balloon, putting a penny on a railway line and letting the train flatten it, or chasing a fire engine to see what disaster lay in store at the end of the journey kept him alive and alert.

    Storyteller Donald Sturrock 2010

  • In "The Armadillo," Bishop describes a glorious fire-balloon display raining down in the Brazilian night, forcing a glistening armadillo from his hiding place.

    A Friendship in Letters Dinitia Smith 2008

  • Presently the blood-red sun sank like a fire-balloon into the west, flushing with its last fierce beams the higher clouds of the eastern sky, and lighting the white and black plume of the soaring fish-eagle.

    Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo 2003

  • In 1783, before the Montgolfier brothers had built their fire-balloon, and Charles, the physician, had devised his first aerostat, a few adventurous spirits had dreamt of the conquest of space by mechanical means.

    Robur the Conqueror 2003

  • The first public ascent of a fire-balloon in France, in 1783, led to an experiment on the part of

    The Illustrated London Reading Book Various

  • This was formed by a singular combination of balloons -- one inflated with hydrogen gas, and the other a fire-balloon.

    The Illustrated London Reading Book Various

  • Then Montgolfier was busier still, and on November 21st, in a fire-balloon specially decorated for such a great occasion, two gentlemen, named Pilâtre de Rozier and D'Arlande, made the first ascent.

    Chatterbox, 1905. Various

  • The work was nearly finished when Roziers went up in his fire-balloon from La Muette.

    Wonderful Balloon Ascents

  • Many friends of girls send much beautiful lanterns, some look like fish, some look like bird, some like fire-balloon - all most large and bright.

    Seven Maids of Far Cathay Ed. Bing Ding

  • During the last twenty years they have been as the sands on the seashore for multitude, yet I think one would be hard set to name a dozen of them whose titles even are still on the lips of men -- whereas several quieter books published during that same period, unheralded by trumpet or fire-balloon, are seen serenely to be ascending to a sure place in the literary firmament.

    Imperishable Fiction: An Inquiry into the Short Life of the 'Best Sellers' Reveals the Methods Which Brought into Being the Novels that Endure 1914


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.