py·​ro·​ma·​ni·​ac ˌpī-rō-ˈmā-nē-ˌak How to pronounce pyromaniac (audio)
plural pyromaniacs
: a person who has an uncontrollable impulse to start fires : a person affected by pyromania
A psychological assessment commissioned by the defence came to the conclusion that Schalm was not a pyromaniac, nor was he bipolar, making the risk of recidivism minimal.Jeremy Appel
sometimes used in an exaggerated or joking way to refer to a person who enjoys fires
The self-described pyromaniac said she is excited about the pellet fire pits that will frame the front entrance.Sarah Self-Walbrick
pyromaniacal adjective
… his earliest pyromaniacal urges … seem to have developed in 1862 … Sherman ordered the torching of all towns, villages, farms and homes for 15 miles up and down the river. Winston Groom

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Until now, little has been disclosed about the show’s version of the dark side characters, though recently EW revealed that King’s crazed pyromaniac Trashcan Man would be played by Erza Miller (Fantastic Beasts 3). James Hibberd,, 7 Dec. 2020 Or try the pyromaniac method of browning your topping: crumble it directly onto the cooked fruit, then use a pair of tongs to pick up a medium-sized ember and hold it an inch or two above your cobbler to brown the topping. Outside Online, 17 Nov. 2020 Mummy star Brendan Fraser is reportedly joining as the pyromaniac supervillain Firefly, Deadline reported in October. ELLE, 16 Jan. 2022 This mysterious pyromaniac began by setting potato chips ablaze but ended up burning down neighborhoods and murdering four people with his flames. Vulture Editors, Vulture, 20 Aug. 2021 All Access limited series for months, perhaps in the role of the pyromaniac Trashcan Man. James Hibberd,, 24 Nov. 2020 Here are five tips to build a better fire in the backcountry (conditions permitting) for the novice pyromaniac. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 30 July 2014 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pyromaniac was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near pyromaniac

Cite this Entry

“Pyromaniac.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a person who exhibits pyromania

Medical Definition


py·​ro·​ma·​ni·​ac -nē-ˌak How to pronounce pyromaniac (audio)
: an individual affected with pyromania

More from Merriam-Webster on pyromaniac

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