py·​ro·​tech·​nic | \ ˌpī-rə-ˈtek-nik How to pronounce pyrotechnic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly pyrotechnical \ ˌpī-​rə-​ˈtek-​ni-​kəl How to pronounce pyrotechnical (audio) \

Definition of pyrotechnic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to pyrotechnics



Definition of pyrotechnic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : firework
b : any of various similar devices (as for igniting a rocket or producing an explosion)
2 : a combustible substance used in a firework

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Other Words from pyrotechnic


pyrotechnically \ ˌpī-​rə-​ˈtek-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pyrotechnically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

You've read about funeral pyres, and you may even have survived a pyromaniac ("insane fire-starting") stage in your youth, so you might have guessed that pyr means "fire" in Greek. Pyrotechnic refers literally to fireworks, but always seems to be used for something else—something just as exciting, explosive, dazzling, sparkling, or brilliant. The performances of sports stars and dancers are often described as pyrotechnic, and a critic may describe the pyrotechnics of a rock guitarist's licks or a film's camerawork. A pyrotechnic performance is always impressive, but the word occasionally suggests something more like "flashy" or "flamboyant".

Examples of pyrotechnic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Fire prevention personnel such as Michael and Wun attend pyrotechnic training at least once a year to keep up with new technology and codes. Susan Hoffman,, "Newport’s fireworks safety specialists get the Fourth ready to fly," 3 July 2018 The 42nd annual Macy’s 4th of July firework show combines a pyrotechnic spectacle -- which will be Macy’s largest firework display since the Millennial Celebration of 2000 -- with spectacular performances. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and More Set For Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Show," 2 July 2018 But after a blistering, pyrotechnic performance, Mr. Brown placed second. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Justin Brown Is a Monster on Drums. Now He’s a Bandleader, Too.," 27 June 2018 Unfortunately, the pyrotechnic technician sent to handle our event was inexperienced and didn’t have adequate help. Stephen Hudak,, "Apopka mayor apologizes for fireworks cancellation, promises free Labor Day show," 6 July 2018 The explosions occurred in Tultepec, a town in Mexico state known as the country’s pyrotechnic capital and the site of a blast that claimed 42 lives in 2016. Kate Linthicum,, "At least 22 killed in fireworks explosions in a Mexican town with a history of deadly blasts," 5 July 2018 That’s not the case for the pyrotechnic bouquets that burst in the air, over and over again, every year in early July. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Fireworks fascination can never be defused, so keep your ears plugged," 9 July 2018 Part of the engineering of the show is making sure that the shells launch high enough that all the pyrotechnic reactions take place before the pieces reach the ground. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 Philadelphia resident Rasaan Urquhart has a message for anyone looking to celebrate Independence Day with some pyrotechnic pizazz: Enjoy those fireworks from a distance. Amanda Macmillan,, "This 25-Year-Old's Warning About Fireworks Safety Is Going Viral After a Celebration Left Him Nearly Blind," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is the real doom loop set to unfold in Italy, post-QE: not the pyrotechnics of a financial collapse, but rather the death spiral of a government that can’t support Main Street, and a Main Street that can’t support its banks. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Italy’s ‘Doom Loops,’ Imagined and Real," 3 Jan. 2019 Surrounded by an army of gyrating dancers and backed by a Fourth of July’s worth of pyrotechnics, Despacito’s win count seemed beside the point with a performance this joyful. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Brutally honest rankings of every 2018 Grammy performance," 28 Jan. 2018 The missile convoys apparently practice launch procedures while under attack, as pyrotechnics and other distractions are going off while the crews are practicing. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch China's Military Rocket Force Show Off Its Might," 28 Dec. 2016 The fireworks show is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. The village was one of several towns that were forced to cancel their traditional holiday pyrotechnic shows after storms descended on the area on the night of July 4. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "New Lenox reschedules fireworks," 12 July 2018 Judy Chicago, an iconic American artist, is known for her contributions to the 1970s feminist art movement and for subverting male art and design crafts such as boat and car building and pyrotechnics. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Renowned Feminist Artist Judy Chicago and Max Mara Release a Limited Edition T-Shirt," 4 Dec. 2018 Swift's show is intense, after all, and filled with choreography and pyrotechnics that probably make performing it in the rain tricky. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Ripping Off Her Fake Eyelashes in Concert Is a Big Mood," 5 Nov. 2018 The judges, including guest judge Ken Jeong, were amazed by their high-flying tricks and pyrotechnics. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘America’s Got Talent’ Judges Were Shocked When a Couple's Trapeze Act Went Dangerously Wrong," 18 July 2018 There were pyrotechnics during player introductions and Drake songs during warmups. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Last Best Player Not in the NBA," 30 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pyrotechnic.' 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 pyrotechnic


1629, in the meaning defined above


1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pyrotechnic


French pyrotechnique, from Greek pyr fire + technē art — more at technical

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The first known use of pyrotechnic was in 1629

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


a strong desire or propensity

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