from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A device consisting of a combination of explosives and combustibles, set off to generate colored lights, smoke, and noise for amusement.
  • n. A display of such devices.
  • n. An exciting or spectacular display, as of musical virtuosity.
  • n. A display of rage or fierce contention.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A device using gunpowder and other chemicals which, when lit, emits a combination of coloured flames, sparks, whistles or bangs, and sometimes made to rocket high into the sky before exploding, used for entertainment or celebration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A device for producing a striking display of light, or a figure or figures in plain or colored fire, by the combustion of materials that burn in some peculiar manner, as gunpowder, sulphur, metallic filings, and various salts; also called a pyrotechnic device. The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube filled with the combustible material. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of figures in fire, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework. The art of designing fireworks for purposes of entertainment is called pyrotechnics. The name firework is also given to various combustible preparations used in war.
  • n. A pyrotechnic exhibition; an entertainment consisting of the discharge of fireworks{1}.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Work wrought in the fire.
  • n. A contrivance of inflammable and explosive materials combined in various proportions, for the purpose of producing in combustion beautiful or amusing scenic effects, or to be used as a night signal on land or sea, or for various purposes in war: commonly used in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (usually plural) a device with an explosive that burns at a low rate and with colored flames; can be used to illuminate areas or send signals etc.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The whole thing just a firework, which is merely for viewing pleasure.

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  • The color of a compound in a firework will be the same as its color in a flame test.

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  • The fuses were the rigid kind of firework lighter things that glow for ages - the scientists amongst us had had great fun experimenting with these to get the timings right.

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  • Investigators are also looking at another possibility where they took cold fireworks, which is an indoor safe kind of firework use compressed gas to ignite instead of a spark.

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  • While they bandied words, one kind of firework after another was lighted outside, and then later on some more again.

    Hung Lou Meng

  • "collection of perceptions" which makes up our consciousness may be an orderly phantasmagoria generated by the Ego, unfolding its successive scenes on the background of the abyss of nothingness; as a firework, which is but cunningly arranged combustibles, grows from a spark into a coruscation, and from a coruscation into figures, and words, and cascades of devouring fire, and then vanishes into the darkness of the night.

    Hume (English Men of Letters Series)

  • It is illegal to light any kind of firework without prior permission and owning a gun, aside from licensed hunting shot guns, is also prohibited and punishable by a mandatory, although flexible, jail term.

    The Daily Star > News Feed

  • The earliest uses of "girandole" in English, in the 17th century, referred to a kind of firework or to something, such as a fountain, with a radiating pattern like that of a firework.

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • As was the case with the nation's first satellite launch more than 10 years ago, the scientific research satellite will be a spectacular "firework" to celebrate the re-election of Kim Jong-il as chairman of the National Defense Commission, the April 15 birthday of the late founding father Kim Il-sung, and the April 25 Armed Forces Day.

    Asia Times Online

  • The astonishing results include a "firework" display, the recreation of the 1970s computer game Pong, and even a giant moving sheep.

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