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".
Variants of pyrotechnic
Origin and Etymology of pyrotechnic
French pyrotechnique, from Greek pyr fire + technē art — more at technical
First Known Use: 1755
Definition of pyrotechnic
1 a : firework b : any of various similar devices (as for igniting a rocket or producing an explosion)
2 : a combustible substance used in a firework
First Known Use of pyrotechnic
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up pyrotechnic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).