fire in the belly

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

fire in the belly

  1. (idiomatic) The emotional stamina and vigor, passion, or inner drive to achieve something, to take action, etc.
    • 1894, Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books, Preface:
      Carlyle, indeed, had so much more depth and knowledge of the heart, his portraits of mankind are felt and rendered with so much more poetic comprehension, and he, like his favourite Ram Dass, had a fire in his belly so much more hotly burning than the patent reading lamp by which Macaulay studied.
    • 1955 June 9, J. B. Priestley, "Billy Graham's Nothing New—In Fact, Perhaps, Below Par," Vancouver Sun (Canada) (retrieved 20 June 2011):
      I felt no conviction of a burning sincerity, of that fire in the belly which made some of the wilder nonconformist parsons of my youth appear almost incandescent.
    • 1987 Sep. 27, Sam Howe Vernovek, "Keeping Low Profile, Ethics Panel Chief Aims for Thoroughness," New York Times (retrieved 20 June 2011):
      “He has the fire in the belly to make this thing work,” said Mr. Emery.
    • 2011 Jan. 27, Michael Crowley, "Decision Time for Senator John Thune," Time:
      In Washington, some Republicans are skeptical that Thune has the fire in the belly for the brutal campaign process.
    • 2011 October 1, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 16-12 Scotland”, BBC Sport:
      Sent back out by Johnson with fire in their bellies, England at last began to threaten as Manu Tuilagi smashed Sean Lamont and then sent Delon Armitage racing down the left touchline.

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