py·​rite | \ ˈpī-ˌrīt How to pronounce pyrite (audio) \

Definition of pyrite

: a common mineral that consists of iron disulfide, has a pale brass-yellow color and metallic luster, and is burned in making sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid

Examples of pyrite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pair Pothos with Golden Pyrite Golden pyrite and pothos paired cultivate abundance—something every multi-hyphenate needs in her toolkit. Tanya Lichtenstein, Sunset Magazine, "How Pairing Crystals and Plants Can Alleviate Stress and Cultivate Abundance," 22 May 2020 The firm had advanced a large loan to the Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba for mining pyrite, a mineral used in jewelry. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Lessons from a fugitive: what the tangled tale of Marc Rich tells us about Carlos Ghosn," 17 Jan. 2020 Soft tissue such as muscle do not typically fossilize, but these were preserved as the mineral pyrite. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A 150-Year Old Weird Ancient Animal Mystery, Solved," 22 Feb. 2019 The pyrite half of the Paleolithic firestarting kit often doesn't last as long as flint, because pyrite tends to oxidize and corrode away over time. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals used stone hand axes to strike a light," 26 July 2018 There’s a knack to striking sparks from flint and pyrite, as any sufficiently old-school backpacker can tell you. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals used stone hand axes to strike a light," 26 July 2018 Materials like the copper ore mineral chalcocite and fool's gold, pyrite, are sulfidic anions. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Sulfuric Volcanoes May Have Quickened Life on Earth," 9 Apr. 2018 The free-agent market is often a place of pyrite rather than gold. David Murphy,, "Jake Arrieta's fastball not the only thing that's changed | David Murphy," 13 Mar. 2018 But the latest market gold rush also has produced its share of pyrite. Paul Vigna, WSJ, "China Bans Digital Coin Offers as Celebrities Like Paris Hilton Tout Them," 4 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of pyrite

1741, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pyrite

Latin pyrites

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pyrite

Time Traveler for pyrite

Time Traveler

The first known use of pyrite was in 1741

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pyrite

Cite this Entry

“Pyrite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pyrite


How to pronounce pyrite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pyrite

: a common mineral that is shiny and pale yellow in color

More from Merriam-Webster on pyrite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pyrite Encyclopedia article about pyrite

Comments on pyrite

What made you want to look up pyrite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!