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How to pronounce firebrand (audio)


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Dictionary definition of firebrand

A person who is passionate and outspoken about a particular issue, often causing controversy or stirring up strong emotions in others.
"He was known as a firebrand in the civil rights movement."


Detailed meaning of firebrand

This term is typically used to describe individuals who are willing to challenge the status quo and push for change, even if it means going against conventional wisdom or established norms. Firebrands may use provocative language or tactics to draw attention to their cause and to inspire others to take action. While they can be seen as disruptive or even confrontational, firebrands can also be effective agents of change, driving progress and innovation in society.

Example sentences containing firebrand

1. The young activist quickly became a firebrand in the community.
2. This novel features a firebrand protagonist challenging societal norms.
3. Many consider her speech to be the mark of a true firebrand.
4. The firebrand illuminated the cave, revealing ancient paintings.
5. He has always been a firebrand, sparking debates everywhere he goes.
6. As a firebrand for environmental change, she mobilized thousands.

History and etymology of firebrand

The noun 'firebrand' has its etymological roots in literal fire. It is formed by combining 'fire' and 'brand,' where 'brand' originally referred to a piece of burning wood or a fiery torch. The term was used in the past to describe an actual burning piece of wood that could be used to ignite fires. Over time, it transitioned into a metaphorical sense to describe a person who ignites or inflames passionate emotions, often by speaking out forcefully on a particular issue. A 'firebrand' is someone who is passionate and outspoken, stirring up controversy or strong emotions in others, much like a burning brand can set other materials ablaze. Therefore, the etymology of 'firebrand' underscores its use as a noun to depict individuals who, through their fervent advocacy or provocative statements, spark intense reactions and discussions about important matters.

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Further usage examples of firebrand

1. They used a firebrand to light their way through the dense forest.
2. In history, every movement has its firebrands leading the charge.
3. His firebrand tactics often put him at odds with the establishment.
4. Lighting a firebrand, the villagers gathered around for the story session.
5. Some feared her influence, recognizing the power of a true firebrand.
6. The firebrand's heat faded as the night wore on.
7. Few can stir an audience as effectively as that firebrand orator.
8. At the festival, the firebrand dancers swirled in mesmerizing patterns.
9. He's a firebrand in politics, and no topic is off-limits for him.
10. She wrote a firebrand article that became the talk of the town.
11. Every revolution has its heroes, its martyrs, and its firebrands.
12. With a firebrand in hand, he ventured into the unknown.
13. The conference was quite tame until the firebrand speaker took the stage.
14. Their leader was a firebrand, inspiring passion and devotion in his followers.



agitator, peacemaker, conformist, mediator


Advocacy and Support, Conduct and Character, Emancipation and Rebellion

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