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)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Fans of artists like Joe Bonnamassa will take an interest in Sullivan as an expression of the next generation of electric guitarists exploring the instrument’s pyrotechnic capacities. John Adamian,, "Infinity Hall hosting young guitar virtuoso Quinn Sullivan," 22 Nov. 2019 For dessert: a tall, pouty Grand Marnier soufflé and bananas flambé (the pyrotechnic finale) over ice cream, with sliced almonds and the odd garnish of canned peach. Los Angeles Times, "Fanning the retro flames at Pico Rivera’s Dal Rae," 21 Sep. 2019 Shortly before the game began, the team’s pyrotechnic equipment glitched, sparking a small fire near the north end zone. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "The Tennessee Titans left the field on fire in their home opener. No, actually — the field was on fire," 16 Sep. 2019 Along with careful insulation of battery packs and high-voltage components, automakers and suppliers have developed a variety of pyrotechnic safety switches that activate in the event of a crash. Wired, "EVs Fire Up Pyroswitches to Cut Risk of Shock After a Crash," 6 Oct. 2019 Shortly before the game began, the team's pyrotechnic equipment glitched, sparking a small fire near the north end zone. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "The Tennessee Titans left the field on fire in their home opener. No, actually -- the field was on fire," 15 Sep. 2019 Video footage of the tragedy obtained by El Norte de Castilla shows Sainz García, 30, dancing beside several other performers before a stage pyrotechnic device suddenly explodes. Joelle Goldstein,, "Spanish Pop Star Joana Sainz García Killed After On-Stage Pyrotechnics Explosion," 2 Sep. 2019 Authors like Dickinson or Joyce or Hopkins had slowed me down before, with pyrotechnic vocabulary or serpentine logic. The New Yorker, "Toni Morrison, Remembered By Writers," 10 Aug. 2019 The ‘mother of all fire clouds’ Those forest fires occurred on August 12, 2017, during a blisteringly hot, pyrotechnic summer in British Columbia. Madeleine Stone, National Geographic, "To better grasp nuclear winter, scientists study wildfire cloud," 8 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Bangkok fries are a punchy little bowl of hedonistic pyrotechnics, doused with green curry and a drizzle of mayonnaise, topped with crispy peanuts, fried shallots and a fragrant shot of Thai basil. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "This Scottsdale cafe is famous for its bagels. But its new dinner menu is fabulous, too," 15 Nov. 2019 The production features pyrotechnics, lasers, a floating globe and a theme of unity, presented around the theme park’s lagoon. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney World: Faithful ‘IllumiNations’ fans prep for Epcot show’s final finale," 25 Sep. 2019 D’Gary is a legendary guitarist whose playing is both intensely delicate and pyrotechnic, with fluttering runs and switching, percussive polyrhythms. John Adamian,, "Our picks for seven of this week’s can’t-miss concerts in Connecticut," 16 Sep. 2019 No dancers, no pyrotechnics, no computer animation, no multimedia, no special effects. Bran Ferren, Quartz, "Geodesign is going to change the design world as we know it," 13 Sep. 2019 The show will take place over the World Showcase lagoon and include floating set pieces, choreographed fountains, pyrotechnics, and more. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "All The Changes Coming to Disney Next Year, From the Avengers Campus to an Epcot Redesign," 27 Aug. 2019 The group’s performance stayed true to themselves and their audience — no fancy pyrotechnics, no fancy background images, no fancy dance routines. Tyra Triche,, "Review: De La Soul bring the party at Taste of Chicago," 13 July 2019 The steel ball test was one of many eye-popping moments in the Cybertruck’s unveiling, which also involved extensive pyrotechnics and a hologram of Musk. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, "Elon Musk: Tesla’s Cybertruck windows would have been unbreakable if not for the sledgehammer," 25 Nov. 2019 There will be pyrotechnics and light displays as each player gets introduced, but those are all just formalities. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks show they're at the top of the class in chemistry once again in opener," 25 Oct. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pyrotechnic

Time Traveler for pyrotechnic

Time Traveler

The first known use of pyrotechnic was in 1629

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pyrotechnic

Last Updated

14 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pyrotechnic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

Comments on pyrotechnic

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


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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