\ 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 Colorful flags flapped in the salt air, and in the distance, the smoke of a burning pyre rose up from a graveyard shared by Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. Patrice Grell Yursik, Travel + Leisure, 27 May 2021 The Noida Hindon crematorium sets 14 funeral pyre platforms on the sidewalk for the COVID-19 dead to perform the last rites there instead. Madhushree Ghosh, Longreads, 12 May 2021 Even in China, where propaganda has become increasingly pugnacious, the display was jarring: A photograph of a Chinese rocket poised to blast into space juxtaposed with a cremation pyre in India, which is overwhelmed by the coronavirus., 4 May 2021 That plan initially would have moved the Cenotaph about two blocks away along Market Street, near the site of a funeral pyre where the bodies of Alamo defenders were burned. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Mar. 2021 The political right, busy with building a great funeral pyre, has been arguing among itself how best to proceed against the progressive Democrats' superior position in culture — entertainment, academia, social and news media. John Kass, Star Tribune, 19 Feb. 2021 In The Disappearing City, Wright’s 1932 treatise on his ideal metropolis, the architect tried to immolate the concept of the industrial city on a pyre of adjectives. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2021 In addition to the regular groups of knights, angels and other medieval marchers, the krewe is setting up several scenes, including Joan on the pyre, Joan receiving her sword and a soldiers’ encampment., 4 Jan. 2021 But a grisly mix-up had been made on the death certificate, and soon the wrong body would be burned on the funeral pyre. Los Angeles Times, 29 Oct. 2020

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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Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pyre.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pyre



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

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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