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.

updated on February 18, 2021