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Word of the Day
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Definitions for pyrophoric

  1. Chemistry. capable of igniting spontaneously in air.

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Citations for pyrophoric
Plutonium is highly reactive and pyrophoric. The ceramic crucibles are also inert and nonreactive. Tom Clancy, The Sum of All Fears, 1991
And since "pyrophoric" just means "inflames on contact with air" it is highly misleading to tell librarians that it isn't pyrophoric in a vacuum. Nicholson Baker, Double Fold, 2001
Origin of pyrophoric
Pyrophoric entered English in the late 1700s from the Greek root pyrophóros meaning "fire-bearing."
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