firework

noun
fire·​work | \ ˈfī(-ə)r-ˌwərk How to pronounce firework (audio) \
plural fireworks

Definition of firework

1 : a device for producing a striking display by the combustion of explosive or flammable compositions setting off fireworks
2 fireworks plural : a display of fireworks a celebration marked by fireworks A large crowd gathered to watch the fireworks. a spectacular fireworks display Of course there is more to the Fourth of July than fireworks.— John Updike
3 fireworks plural
a : a display of temper or intense conflict … director Jack Hofsiss, in his film debut, and screenwriter David Rabe … fill the screen with raw emotional fireworks.People Weekly
b : strong feelings of usually romantic or sexual attraction between two people … Hollywood has done a pretty convincing job of making so many of us believe that if there aren't immediate fireworks between two people, then it's time to walk away.— Tayi Sanusi
c : a spectacular display the fireworks of autumn leaves

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Synonyms for firework

Synonyms

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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."

Examples of firework in a Sentence

Are you going to stay for the fireworks? We expect a few fireworks during the presidential debate.
Recent Examples on the Web This time, protesters chastised the person who shot the firework, pleading to keep the demonstration peaceful. Sara Cline, USA TODAY, "Portland police declare unlawful assembly during Saturday night protest," 2 Aug. 2020 Money from the booth’s firework sales was intended to benefit local youth groups and community organizations in North Portland. oregonlive, "$10,000 in fireworks stolen from Portland fundraising booth," 4 July 2020 A few minutes later, a firework went off in the crowd. Sophie Carson, USA TODAY, "Businesses damaged, vehicles burned in Wisconsin after Kenosha police officer shoots Black man," 24 Aug. 2020 The drive-in firework display can be viewed from several locations near Lone Star College-Montgomery, where the fireworks will be launched. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Northwest Houston communities plan patriotic fun and fireworks this Fourth of July," 24 June 2020 Douglas County will have a third firework display south of Parker, at a location near the Pinery. Catherine Henderson, The Know, "Most Denver-area Fourth of July fireworks displays have been canceled this year," 19 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of firework

circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for firework

Time Traveler

The first known use of firework was circa 1580

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Statistics for firework

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firework.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/firework. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for firework

firework

noun
How to pronounce firework (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of firework

: a small device that explodes to make a display of light and noise
: a display where fireworks are exploded
: a display of anger

firework

noun
fire·​work | \ ˈfīr-ˌwərk How to pronounce firework (audio) \

Kids Definition of firework

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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More from Merriam-Webster on firework

Nglish: Translation of firework for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of firework for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about firework

Comments on firework

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