py·​rites pə-ˈrī-tēz How to pronounce pyrites (audio)
ˈpī-ˌrīts How to pronounce pyrites (audio)
plural pyrites
: any of various metallic-looking sulfides of which pyrite is the commonest
pyritic adjective

Examples of pyrites in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Certain minerals in the coal, such as sulfides and pyrites, can oxidize and in the process generate enough heat to cause a fire. Kristin Ohlson, Discover Magazine, 3 Jan. 2011

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pyrites.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, flint, from Greek pyritēs of or in fire, from pyr fire

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pyrites was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near pyrites

Cite this Entry

“Pyrites.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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