- a compulsion to set things on fire.
Origin of pyromania
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pyromaniac
“My gut is telling me it is a pyromaniac having a good time and likes watching the buildings burn,” he says.Who’s Setting This Small Town on Fire?
April 16, 2013
They could not feel worse if they learned that the child was a thief or a pyromaniac.Woman
William J. Robinson
- psychiatry the uncontrollable impulse and practice of setting things on fire
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
Word Origin and History for pyromaniac
1855, from pyromania. As a noun from 1861.
The propensity which leads an insane person to accomplish his purpose by burning, has been considered to merit particular notice, and to constitute a variety of monomania. Dr. Marc, of France, has published a memoir on the subject; he gives the name of pyromania to it, and considers that, like other insane propensities, it may be the result of instinct, or it may be the result of delusion--reasoning upon erroneous principles. [Alexander Morrison, M.D., "The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases," London, 1840]
An older word for it was incendiarism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An uncontrollable impulse to start fires.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
An uncontrollable urge to set fires.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.