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.
  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.