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[fahyuh r-wurk] /ˈfaɪərˌwɜrk/
Often, fireworks. a combustible or explosive device for producing a striking display of light or a loud noise, used for signaling or as part of a celebration.
  1. a pyrotechnic display.
  2. a display of violent temper or fierce activity.
  3. any spectacular display, especially of wit or of a technical feat by a musician or dancer.
Origin of firework
First recorded in 1550-60; fire + work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fireworks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fireworks Music was scored for fifty-six wind instruments.

    Handel Edward J. Dent
  • Well, then, le's have Fourth o' July fireworks next Sunday mornin'!

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • Did you know you are to drive me into town in the phaeton for the fireworks?

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • These dismal shells, when they burst in the air, were like the fireworks at a fte.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Nevertheless, this colossal hospitality--apart from the fireworks--cost us nothing at all.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
British Dictionary definitions for fireworks


plural noun
a show in which large numbers of fireworks are let off simultaneously
(informal) an exciting or spectacular exhibition, as of musical virtuosity or wit
(informal) a burst of temper


a device, such as a Catherine wheel, Roman candle, or rocket, in which combustible materials are ignited and produce coloured flames, sparks, and smoke, sometimes accompanied by bangs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fireworks

1570s, from fire (n.) + works (see work (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fireworks



  1. Excitement; furor; noisy fuss; hoopla: speeches that would produce the ''fireworks'' supporters have demanded (1883+)
  2. nger; quarrels; rancorous rhetoric (1880s+)
  3. Shooting; gunfire or cannon fire: The riot ended when the National Guard showed up and the fireworks began (1860s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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