firework

noun fire·work \ ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌwərk \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of firework

1 : a device for producing a striking display by the combustion of explosive or flammable compositions
2 fireworks plural : a display of fireworks
3 fireworks plural
a : a display of temper or intense conflict
b : a spectacular display
  • the fireworks of autumn leaves

firework was our Word of the Day on 07/04/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of firework in a Sentence

  1. Are you going to stay for the fireworks?

  2. We expect a few fireworks during the presidential debate.

Recent Examples of firework from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'firework.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The word fireworks burst upon the scene in the 1500s as a reference to military explosives (a sense that is now obsolete). These explosives were originally used as weapons, of course, but soon they were also being used in explosive displays celebrating victory or peace. By 1575 people were oohing and aahing over "fireworks shewed upon the water; the which were both strange and wel [sic] executed." Figurative uses have been popping up ever since the 1600s. In addition to the angry explosion sense illustrated in our second example sentence, fireworks can also refer to a spectacular display of musical, visual, or verbal brilliance, as in "an outstanding album, bursting with spectacular musical fireworks."

First Known Use of firework

circa 1580


FIREWORK Defined for English Language Learners

firework

noun

Definition of firework for English Language Learners

  • : a small device that explodes to make a display of light and noise

  • fireworks : a display where fireworks are exploded

  • fireworks : a display of anger


FIREWORK Defined for Kids

firework

noun fire·work \ ˈfīr-ˌwərk \

Definition of firework for Students

1 : a device that makes a display of light or noise by the burning of explosive or flammable materials
2 fireworks plural : a display of fireworks


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