• synonyms


[pahy-reen, pahy-reen]
noun Botany.
  1. a putamen or stone, especially when there are several in a single fruit; a nutlet.
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Origin of pyrene1

1830–40; < New Latin pȳrēna < Greek pȳrḗn fruit stone


noun Chemistry.
  1. a polycyclic, aromatic crystalline hydrocarbon, C16H10, consisting of four fused benzene rings, found in coal tar and believed to be carcinogenic.
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Origin of pyrene2

First recorded in 1880–85; pyr- + -ene
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pyrene

Historical Examples

  • Pyrene, a fountain in Corinth, consecrated also to the Muses.

    Dryden's Works (13 of 18): Translations; Pastorals

    John Dryden

  • Pyrene, Pyrena, a seed-like nutlet or stone of a small drupe.

  • Have Pyrene convenient—but not too convenient to spoil the fun.

    Perfect Behavior

    Donald Ogden Stewart

  • Farther on the hero came upon another monster in his way—Cycnus, the son of Mars and Pyrene.

  • Pyrene, a crystalline substance obtained from coal tar, fats, &c.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

    Edited by Rev. James Wood

British Dictionary definitions for pyrene


  1. a solid polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon extracted from coal tar. Formula: C 16 H 10
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Word Origin

C19: from pyro- + -ene


  1. botany any of several small hard stones that occur in a single fruit and contain a single seed each
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Word Origin

C19: from New Latin pyrena, from Greek purēn
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