Meaning of "Fire fighting"

how we can use Fire fighting ?what is the real meaning?

Hello HK,

A “firefighter” is a member of the emergency services, employed to extinguish fires, etc. “Fireman” is the British equivalent.

Metaphorically, “firefighting” is “dealing with urgent problems in the workplace or in business”. It is used in both American and British English.

When people use the term “firefighting”, there is often an implication that the underlying causes of the “urgent problems” have not been addressed.

Best wishes,


Hi MrP,
If ‘firefighting’ has that meaning, then is there the verb ‘firefight’?
Could you please give me two examples in which the word is used normally and metaphorically?

Many thanks,

Hello Nessie,

Since “firefighting” is a gerund, it does imply the verb “to firefight”; though I don’t often hear the infinitive or past/present forms.

Here is an example of the literal usage:

  1. As in many desirable careers, firefighting has long been overwhelmingly male.

— from an article entitled “Enhancing women’s inclusion in firefighting”.

An example of “firefighting” in a metaphorical sense would be:

  1. International managers are overwhelmed with constant frantic firefighting, office politics and spiralling demoralization.

— from a randomly selected blog.

Have a pleasant Sunday,


Thanks a lot…