fireman (plural firemen)
- (firefighting) Someone (implied male) who is skilled in the work of fighting fire.
- (rail transport) A man who keeps the fire going underneath a steam boiler (originally, shoveling coal by hand), particularly on a railroad locomotive.
- ca. 1913 The wreck of Old 97 [ballad, Blue Ridge Mountains], verse 3:
- He looked around his cab at his black greasy fireman, saying 'shovel on a little more coal, and when we cross that White Oak Mountain, you can watch Old 97 roll'.
- 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter IX, p. 140,
- No grass grew under a train when the engineer let Fireman McLash take the throttle.
- (rail transport) By extension of the above, an assistant on any locomotive, whether steam-powered or not.
- (baseball) A relief pitcher.
Historically meant only a man, now used to refer to female firefighters as well. In modern usage, the gender-inclusive term firefighter is generally preferred.
male skilled in fighting fire
man who keeps the fire going underneath a steam boiler
assistant on any locomotive