\ 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 As carts filled with bodies roll toward a mass pyre, Schindler spots the girl among the dead. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Under Gajewski’s hands, the orchestra surged now and then from candlelit prayer to roaring pyre. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 The family travelled to Tibet to retrieve and cremate the body in a pyre at base camp. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2022 His blackened execution pyre stands in a barren field, a leitmotif driven like a stake through the heart of the film. Elle Carroll, Vulture, 6 Dec. 2021 Her bones weighed 50 percent more than the average urn, indicating that her remains were carefully collected after her cremation on a funeral pyre. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 July 2021 The bone weight within her urn was 50% higher than the average urn, meaning the cremated remains of the woman and her twins were carefully collected after being burned on a pyre. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 29 July 2021 Each image of a funeral pyre transmitted by an English-language news outlet strengthens the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Shareen Joshi, CNN, 2 June 2021 Finally, Anupam was called to light his father's pyre. Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pyre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pyre


\ ˈpīr How to pronounce pyre (audio) \

Kids Definition of pyre

: a heap of wood for burning a dead body

More from Merriam-Webster on pyre

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pyre

Nglish: Translation of pyre for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pyre for Arabic Speakers


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