thorny shrub of the apple family, 1660s, from Modern Latin genus name Pyracantha, from Greek pyrakantha (Dioscorides), a plant named but not described, from pyr- "fire" (see fire (n.)) + akantha "thorn, thorny plant," from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (see acrid).

Nearby words

  1. pyostatic,
  2. pyothorax,
  3. pyourachus,
  4. pyoureter,
  5. pyr-,
  6. pyracantha,
  7. pyralid,
  8. pyramid,
  9. pyramid bet,
  10. pyramid letter

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper