catch fire

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catch fire (third-person singular simple present catches fire, present participle catching fire, simple past and past participle caught fire)

  1. (idiomatic) To become engulfed in flames, to combust.
    Synonyms: go up in flames, go up in smoke
  2. (figuratively) To become very popular or widespread; to take off.
    • 2002, Latifa Al-Zayyat, Marilyn Booth, The Open Door (page 9)
      The news caught fire through the school, and Layla found herself — a mere first-year student at the secondary school — the center of attention and admiration.
  3. (figuratively) To be inspired by passion or zeal.