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July 4, 2018

Word of the Day: Pyrotechnics

2 CQ

Word of the Day : July 4, 2018

pyrotechnics \pye-ruh-TEK-niks\ noun


1 singular or plural in construction : the art of making or the manufacture and use of fireworks

2 a : a display of fireworks

b : a spectacular display (as of extreme virtuosity)

Did You Know?

The use of military fireworks in elaborate celebrations of war and peace is an ancient Chinese custom, but our term for the making and launching of fireworks is a product of the 17th and 18th centuries. Pyrotechnics and the earlier adjective pyrotechnic derive via French from the Greek nouns pyr ("fire") and techne ("art"). In pyr one can see such fiery relatives as pyromania, the term for an irresistible impulse to start fires, as well as pyrite, the mineral also known as fool's gold. (That word also has an obsolete meaning, in the form pyrites, referring to a stone used for striking fire.) Like fireworks, pyrotechnics also has an extended figurative usage, referring to any kind of dazzling display or performance.

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Aired July 4, 2018

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