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pyrophoric

[pahy-ruh-fawr-ik, -for-]
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adjective Chemistry.
  1. capable of igniting spontaneously in air.

Origin of pyrophoric

1780–90; < Greek pyrophór(os) fire-bearing (see pyro-, -phorous) + -ic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for pyrophoric

pyrophoric

adjective
  1. (of a chemical) igniting spontaneously on contact with air
  2. (of an alloy) producing sparks when struck or scrapedlighter flints are made of pyrophoric alloy

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin pyrophorus, from Greek purophoros fire-bearing, from pur fire + pherein to bear
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 pyrophoric

adj.

1779, from Modern Latin pyrophorus, literally "fire-bearing," from Greek pyrophoros, from pyro- (see pyro-) + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer). Related: Pyrophorous; pyrophorus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper