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

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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 Zambelli Fireworks touts the annual Thunder show as the largest annual pyrotechnic production in North America. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby Festival announces a new Thunder date. What about other events?," 17 Mar. 2020 In 2012, a truck transporting cases carrying pyrotechnic equipment for a Kiss-Mötley Crüe tour rolled over on Interstate 75 in northwest Ohio, spilling out its contents. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Carlos Ghosn: Just the Latest Strange Object Ferried in a Music Equipment Box," 17 Jan. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There were pyrotechnics and an impressive light show that would appeal to both someone who was high out of their minds or someone who wanted their face rocked off. Melissa Fossum, azcentral, "Post Malone brought the party to Glendale, rocking the fans like the Andrew W.K. of rap," 9 Nov. 2019 However, those looking to host their own pyrotechnics show will only have a week to do so, as part of Michigan's new fireworks laws. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "4th of July fireworks in Michigan: Here's when they can legally go off," 26 June 2019 An hour or so after Dayton fired the pyrotechnics, the seagulls were still gone. David Gutman, Anchorage Daily News, "Washington county wants to shoot fireworks at trash-bombing eagles," 18 Feb. 2020 Factor in celebrity endorsers, pyrotechnics, talking animals, or CGI and that adds up to what some marketers might spend in a year. Ken Wheaton, Fortune, "Why Super Bowl ads still matter in the streaming age," 31 Jan. 2020 The glowing embers of the pyrotechnics singe the roofs of the estate. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Trash-Talk Pyrotechnics of the “Succession” Finale," 14 Oct. 2019 Reviews for the show were mixed, with some complaining about a dull script and others disappointed by the level of technical pyrotechnics. Scarlet Cheng, Daily Pilot, "‘Apollo 11’ live show won’t make the leap to Costa Mesa after all — at least for the time being," 26 Aug. 2019 Reviews for the show were mixed, with some complaining about a dull script and others disappointed by the level of technical pyrotechnics. Los Angeles Times, "‘Apollo 11’ live show won’t make the leap from Pasadena to Orange County after all," 23 Aug. 2019 On Friday night, those same stands swelled with younger voices than usual and none of the pyrotechnics. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France Kicks Off Women’s World Cup With 4-0 Victory Over South Korea," 8 June 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.

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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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Time Traveler for pyrotechnic

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The first known use of pyrotechnic was in 1629

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Last Updated

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pyrotechnic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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