Etymology
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pyrolysis (n.)

"decomposition by the action of heat," 1879, from pyro- + -lysis. Related: Pyrolytic; pyrolyse.

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pyromancy (n.)

"divination by means of fire," late 14c., piromaunce, from Old French piromance and directly from Medieval Latin piromantia; see pyro- + -mancy. Related: Pyromantic.

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pyromania (n.)

form of insanity marked by a mania for destroying things by fire, 1840, from pyro- "fire" + mania "madness, frenzy." Used in German in the 1830s.

The propensity which leads an insane person to accomplish his purpose by burning, has been considered to merit particular notice, and to constitute a variety of monomania. Dr. Marc, of France, has published a memoir on the subject; he gives the name of pyromania to it, and considers that, like other insane propensities, it may be the result of instinct, or it may be the result of delusion—reasoning upon erroneous principles. [Alexander Morrison, M.D., "The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases," London, 1840]

An older word for it was incendiarism.

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pyromaniac (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, characterized by, or affected with pyromania," 1855, from pyromania. As a noun from 1861, "person possessed of an irresistible impulse to burn things." Related: Pyromaniacal.

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pyrophobia (n.)

"morbid fear of fire," 1871, from pyro- "fire" + -phobia "fear."

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pyrophoric (adj.)

"having the property of taking fire upon exposure to air," 1779, from Modern Latin pyrophorus, literally "fire-bearing," from Greek pyrophoros, from pyro- (see pyro-) + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry"). Related: Pyrophorous.

Pyrophorus is by 1778 as the name of fine, powdery substances capable of catching fire spontaneously on exposure to air; with a capital P-, as the name given to the genus of the most brilliant of the American fireflies, from 1809.

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pyrotechnic (adj.)

1704, "of or pertaining to the use of fire" (a sense now obsolete); 1825, "of or pertaining to fireworks and the art of making them," from pyrotechny "the manufacture and use of gunpowder" (1570s), from pyro- "fire" + Latinized form of Greek tekhnē "art" (see techno-).

Figurative use, "brilliant, explosive display," is attested from 1847. Related: Pyrotechnical (1610s, from pyrotechny).

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pyrotechnician (n.)

"manufacturer of fireworks, one skilled in pyrotechny," 1729, from pyrotechnic + -an.

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pyrotechnics (n.)

"the art of making and using fireworks," 1729, from pyrotechnic (also see -ics). Figurative sense is from 1901. Related: Pyrotechnist.

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pyrotechny (n.)

1570s, "the management and mechanical application of fire" (a sense now obsolete); 1630s, "the fabrication of fireworks for military and commercial purposes," from pyro- "fire" + Latinized form of Greek tekhnē "art" (see techno-). 

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