- a combining form meaning “fire,” “heat,” “high temperature,” used in the formation of compound words: pyrogen; pyrolusite; pyromancy.
- Chemistry. a combining form used in the names of inorganic acids, indicating that the acid's water content is intermediate between that of the corresponding ortho- (more water) and meta- (least water) acids (pyroantimonic, H4Sb2O7, pyroarsenic, H4As2O7, and pyrosulfuric, H2S2O7, acids). The combining form is also used in the names of the salts of these acids. If the acid ends in -ic, the corresponding salt ends in -ate (pyroboric acid, H2B4O7, and potassium pyrobate, K2B4O7, or pyrosulfuric, H2S2O7, and pyrosulfate, N2S2O7); if the acid ends in -ous, the corresponding salt ends in -ite (pyrophosphorous acid, H4P2O5, potassium pyrophosphite, K4P2O5).
Origin of pyro-
before a vowel pyr-
- denoting fire, heat, or high temperaturepyromania; pyrometer
- caused or obtained by fire or heatpyroelectricity
- denoting a new substance obtained by heating anotherpyroboric acid is obtained by heating boric acid
- denoting an acid or salt with a water content intermediate between that of the ortho- and meta- compoundspyro-phosphoric acid
- having a property that changes upon the application of heatpyromorphite
- having a flame-coloured appearancepyroxylin
Word Origin and History for pyro-
before vowels pyr-, word-forming element form meaning "fire," from Greek pyro-, combining form of pyr (genitive pyros) "fire, funeral fire," also symbolic of terrible things, rages, "rarely as an image of warmth and comfort" [Liddell & Scott]; see fire (n.). Pyriphlegethon, literally "fire-blazing," was one of the rivers of Hell.
- Fire; heat:pyrophobia.
- Relating to the action of fire or heat:pyrolysis.
- Derived from an acid by the loss of a water molecule:pyrophosphoric acid.