to light a fire under

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - light a fire under

"to light a fire under"

to forcible encourage and/or incite someone or something to do something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - light a fire under

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Why isn't that report ready yet?

Colleague 2:  I'm still waiting for Jean's input.

Colleague 1:  She was supposed to have submitted her part yesterday.

Colleague 2:  Guess someone had better light a fire under Jean, then.

Colleague 1:  She does need a push to work a little faster.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - light a fire under

Two parents are talking ...

Father:  Has Aaron cleaned his room yet?

Mother:  No, not yet.

Father:  Then I suppose I will light a fire under him.

Mother:  What will you do?

Father:  I will take away his keys to the car until he cleans his room.

to light a fire under - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   195   click for frequency by country

to light a fire under - Gerund Form:

Lighting a fire under your employees will get them working faster.

to light a fire under - Examples:

1)  When it comes to other big weekends, footy finals seem to light a fire under property sellers every year.

2)  ... on a farewell visit to Germany as president, is trying to light a fire under stalled talks about a trans-Atlantic trade deal, ...

3)  This is more of a desperate plea from a bench boss to light a fire under his team in an attempt to save his job.

4)  That might be seen as a ploy to light a fire under Castillo, who is seen to have underperformed.

5)  The threat of cuts could also light a fire under current workers to do more to save and invest on their own, ...

6)  He said negative gearing was introduced following the Great Depression to light a fire under the market.

7)  ... was that the non-existent results tended to light a fire under lazy candidates or inactive directors of elections.

8)  ... PCs in decline, manufacturers have thrown cash at wearables, hoping to light a fire under the new product category.

9)  High-profile cases and accompanying media attention have helped light a fire under policy-makers and regulators, ...

10)  In a bid to light a fire under city bureaucrats and council, Bostik last week launched an online petition to have ...

11)  ... pressure is a backlash from the middle class, while corruption scandals have lit a fire under governments, ...

12)  Once you called them, it lit a fire under them. They really started looking for my package.

13)  And that creates a strange gray area that has lit a fire under entrepreneurs like Umeh, who sees dollar signs in the loophole.

14)  Terrorist activity has highlighted and actually kind of lit a fire under Belgian officials to strengthen security at their nuclear facilities.

15)  ... to compete for reasons that were beyond my control. But that only lit a fire under me to re-qualify for the next season.

16)  ... really encouraged me to kind of go after this thing and kind of lit a fire under me. 

17)  ... the scandal seems to have lit a fire under Brady, leading to some unbridled emotions ...

18)  But it surely lit a fire under him to get to work on it.

19)  The ejection seemed to have lit a fire under the squad from Morayta, however.

20)  The spectre of Target's arrival lit a fire under their metaphoric behinds that sparked a flurry of counter-moves in the industry.