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py·​ro·​tech·​nic ˌpī-rə-ˈtek-nik How to pronounce pyrotechnic (audio)
variants or less commonly pyrotechnical
: of or relating to pyrotechnics
pyrotechnically adverb


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

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
The track, which naturally features some pyrotechnic guitar playing by Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, will feature on the band’s upcoming Invincible Shield album, due out March 3, 2024. Kory Grow, Rolling Stone, 17 Nov. 2023 Critics praised her pyrotechnic language, her lyrical attention to desire and emotion, her imagination, her exuberance. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2023 Tesla is recalling 26 of its 2023 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles because the pyrotechnic battery disconnect may be defective. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 26 June 2023 There, a pyrotechnic display ignited acoustic foam and in minutes, the place was engulfed in flames, killing 100 people and injuring 230. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2023 Tesla will replace the pyrotechnic battery disconnect, free of charge. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 26 June 2023 Instead, a five-minute pyrotechnic show will accompany the concert at 8:20 p.m. at the Dr. A.J. Chandler Park Stage Plaza. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 16 June 2023 All some people want during the dog days of summer is to sit agog before a mile-high screen, hypnotized by pyrotechnic special effects, puerile jokes, and perhaps the warm comfort of an aging movie star. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 14 July 2023 And many of our pets don’t enjoy the pyrotechnic mayhem. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2023
The humor, the surprising way of shaping a lyric and the soaring, swooping vocal pyrotechnics were already in place. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 Tyler, the Creator performed his extensive catalog directly before the closing act with a makeshift junkyard set, motion graphics, and pyrotechnics. Cierra Black, Essence, 12 Nov. 2023 The Christmas Festival, which includes a boat parade, pyrotechnics, and a holiday market, is also a big draw. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 19 Oct. 2023 On a day where a lightning storm seemed a fitting prelude to offensive pyrotechnics by both teams at Fenway Park, the Red Sox fell to the Orioles, 13-12. Alex Speier,, 9 Sep. 2023 How to properly kiss summer goodbye Question: Exactly how much pyrotechnics by weight will Rozzi Fireworks, the fireworks show's longtime fireworks supplier, put into the 47th annual display? Erin Couch, The Enquirer, 3 Sep. 2023 From the pyrotechnics during the cake cutting to Jean surprising me with a wedding video recap (same day edit) for everyone to see, the day was just filled with so much love. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 5 Oct. 2023 The scene took place while pyrotechnics shoot into the air at the front of the stage and music continues to play. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2023 The stages will feature LED walls, a mega sound system, pyrotechnics, smoke machines and more. Tommy Cummings, Dallas News, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


1629, in the meaning defined above


1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pyrotechnic was in 1629

Dictionary Entries Near pyrotechnic

Cite this Entry

“Pyrotechnic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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