fire in anger

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fire in anger (third-person singular simple present fires in anger, present participle firing in anger, simple past and past participle fired in anger)

  1. (military, idiomatic) To fire a weapon with the intent of causing damage or harm to an opponent (as opposed to a warning shot or a practice shot).
    The Napier of Magdala Battery never fired a shot in anger: it never engaged in combat.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Despite the use of the word anger, the phrase is not intended to describe the emotional state of the firer.


  • Wicaksono, Rachel (2010 August 6 (last accessed)) “Fire in anger”, in Ask About English[1], BBC World Service