[ pahy-ruh-fawr-ik, -for- ]
/ ˌpaɪ rəˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr- /

adjective Chemistry.

capable of igniting spontaneously in air.

Origin of pyrophoric

1780–90; < Greek pyrophór(os) fire-bearing (see pyro-, -phorous) + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pyrophoric

British Dictionary definitions for pyrophoric


/ (ˌpaɪrəʊˈfɒrɪk) /


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

Word Origin for pyrophoric

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



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