from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The management and mechanical application of fire.
  • noun The fabrication of fireworks for military and ornamental purposes (see firework, 2); the composition and scientific use of combustible substances employed as signals, as destructive agents, or for purposes of display.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The use and application of fire in science and the arts.
  • noun Same as Pyrotechnics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The manufacture and use of fireworks.
  • noun The use of fire in chemistry and metallurgy.
  • noun obsolete The manufacture and use of gunpowder, bombs etc.

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

  • noun the craft of making fireworks


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

[New Latin pyrotechnia : Greek puro-, pyro- + Greek tekhnē, craft; see technique.]


  • Is it not as if one should have, through majestic powers of science, the comets given into his hand, or the planets and their moons, and should draw them from their orbits to glare with the municipal fireworks on a holiday night, and advertise in all towns, “Very superior pyrotechny this evening”?

    Representative Men

  • It is decomposed by heat, and is largely used in pyrotechny for the preparation of green fire.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon"

  • His lyre was attuned to reach the ear rather than the heart; his scenes are in enchanted lands; his _dramatis personæ_ tread theatrical boards; his thunder is a melo-dramatic roll; his lightning is pyrotechny; his tears are either hypocritical or maudlin; and his laughter is the perfection of genteel comedy.

    English Literature, Considered as an Interpreter of English History Designed as a Manual of Instruction

  • The efficiency of a given course of training is indicated by the power and endurance which it imparts, -- not by such pyrotechny as may be let off before an examining committee.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 77, March, 1864

  • No! be assured that we know as little about politics as pyrotechny -- that we are as blissfully ignorant of all that relates to the science of government as that of gastronomy -- and have ever since our boyhood preferred the solid consistency of gingerbread to the crisp insipidity of parliament.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, November 6, 1841,

  • And strangest of all, at the final puff and bang of each remarkable piece of pyrotechny, the bells ring out just the same sudden clang which marks the agonizing moment of the

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 37, November, 1860

  • Having seen Venetian pyrotechny, one realizes that all fireworks should be ignited over water.

    A Wanderer in Venice

  • The carousals of the army and navy lasted for three days, at the new Doge's cost, the resources of the fleet having no difficulty in running to every kind of pageantry and pyrotechny.

    A Wanderer in Venice

  • Sick and giddy, the heroine shut her eyes, seeing behind their lids wondrous phantasmagoria of coloured pyrotechny, rivalling the most marvellous triumphs of the magician Brock ....

    The Dop Doctor

  • As this subject, however interesting to the theoretical pyrotechnist, cannot be understood without a knowledge of chemistry, it is obvious that that science is a powerful aid to pyrotechny ....

    James Cutbush An American Chemist, 1788-1823


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  • "the doctrine of artificial fire-works and fire-arms, teaching the structure and service of all those used in war." (citation in list description)

    October 9, 2008

  • The combination of those ingredients resulted in a dazzling pyrotechny of sense . . .

    --Vladimir Nabokov, 1974, Look at the Harlequins! p. 250

    June 13, 2009

  • At mid-day they pander abjectly;

    By twilight they cry out "elect me!"

    But shrill pleas are drowned

    By sight and the sound

    Of Fourth of July pyrotechny.

    July 4, 2016