\ ˈpī(-ə)r How to pronounce pyre (audio) \

Definition of pyre

: a combustible heap for burning a dead body as a funeral rite broadly : a pile of material to be burned a pyre of dead leaves

Examples of pyre in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There were quiet, moving character moments, like Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) finding Shireen’s (Kerry Ingram) toy amid the ashes of her funeral pyre. James Hibberd,, "How the Game of Thrones episode 'Battle of the Bastards' forever changed TV," 21 Nov. 2019 The archaeologists also found evidence of funerary activity, including a site that may have been used as a funeral pyre. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Crack the Case of 1,700-Year-Old Roman Eggs," 9 Dec. 2019 This setup takes less time and requires less wood than a traditional pyre. Becky Little, National Geographic, "The environmental toll of cremating the dead," 5 Nov. 2019 After Anat left, Mira returned to her bedroom and, like a Calcuttan widow on her husband’s funeral pyre, threw herself on the heap of clothing. Dalia Rosenfeld,, "2019 Algren Awards: Finalist: If You Will Not Shave This Rabbit, He Will Get Stoned," 20 July 2019 Some bodies were either buried or repatriated, but many remains were disposed of in mass graves and large funeral pyres. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The First Investigation Into the Allied Waterloo Field Hospital Is Unearthing Cannonballs—and Limbs," 18 July 2019 Not for the Pixar toys the yearnings of Pinocchio or the existential anguish of the rabbit on the pyre. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Toy Story 4’s Nursery Stoicism," 11 July 2019 On Saturday, veterans and families parked cars on a grassy hilltop and carried lawn chairs down a hill toward a picnic tent near the pyre of flags. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "The patriotic story of 25,000 US flags that went out in a blaze of Old Glory," 2 July 2019 Daenerys survived the blaze of her husband's funeral pyre, hatched a few dragons (for the first time in ages), rallied the Unsullied, and now commands a gigantic army, among other things. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys Targaryen Should Not Be Queen of Westeros," 19 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pyre.' 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 pyre

1587, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pyre

Latin pyra, from Greek, from pyr fire — more at fire

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Statistics for pyre

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pyre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pyre


How to pronounce pyre (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pyre

: a pile of wood for burning a dead body


\ ˈpīr How to pronounce pyre (audio) \

Kids Definition of pyre

: a heap of wood for burning a dead body

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More from Merriam-Webster on pyre

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pyre

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pyre

Spanish Central: Translation of pyre

Nglish: Translation of pyre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pyre for Arabic Speakers

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