pyrophorus

noun py·roph·o·rus \ pīˈräfərəs \

Definition of pyrophorus

1 plural pyrophori : any of several substances or mixtures (as a carbonized mixture of alum and sugar, or finely divided lead or iron) that ignite spontaneously on exposure to air
2 capitalized : a genus of large tropical American beetles (family Elateridae) bearing a pair of large luminous organs on the prothorax — see fire beetle

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Origin and Etymology of pyrophorus

New Latin, from Greek pyrophoros fire-bearing, from pyr- + -phoros -phorous


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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