py·ro·tech·nic | \ˌpī-rə-ˈtek-nik \
variants: or less commonly pyrotechnical \ˌpī-rə-ˈtek-ni-kəl \

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 \ 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

Celebrated as a pyrotechnic writer of short fiction, screenplays, comic books and criticism, Mr Ellison was as prodigious a source of anecdote, vendetta and litigation. The Economist, "Harlan Ellison died on June 27th," 5 July 2018 For these whites, pyrotechnic chemists typically use something like titanium or magnesium. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 The loud explosions of the pyrotechnics set off at the beginning of the game have forced them to leave their seats and go to the concourse. Erin Gabriel, CNN, "NBA makes space for fans with autism spectrum disorder," 30 Mar. 2018 For Place Vendôme jewelry houses, July is a time for pyrotechnics — and this season offered up a horde. Vogue, "From Ana Khouri to Tasaki, A Survey of Couture Week’s Coolest Jewels," 9 July 2018 The mere chance to see a band with its original lineup intact and airtight through a lifetime of musical telepathy trumps any and all possible pyrotechnics. Jordan Runtagh,, "Are You Experience-ed? U2 Brings Spellbinding Tech-Heavy Tour to Madison Square Garden," 28 June 2018 For years, Kentucky outlawed fireworks while Indiana and Tennessee allowed them, yet Sanders’ paramedics would treat people every year who were injured by out-of-state pyrotechnics. Robert Mccoppin,, "Legal fireworks in Illinois? Despite annual injury toll, lawmaker proposes that state join pyrotechnics market," 10 July 2018 The crew fired the pyrotechnics from 18 different locations around the track, and the show's highlight was a 90-second grand finale. Edgar Thompson,, "Patriotism gets big boost at Daytona," 8 July 2018 Pastrana, dressed in a full Evel Knievel getup, left no doubt in nailing a 52-car jump – complete with red, white and blue pyrotechnics. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Travis Pastrana nails 3 iconic Evel Knievel stunts in tribute show in Las Vegas," 8 July 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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Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

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The first known use of pyrotechnic was in 1629

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