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[pahyuh r] /paɪər/
a pile or heap of wood or other combustible material.
such a pile for burning a dead body, especially as part of a funeral rite, as in India.
Origin of pyre
1650-60; < Latin pyra < Greek pyrá hearth, funeral pile
Can be confused
buyer, byre, pyre. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pyre
  • He climbed onto the pyre himself and stayed there, without uttering another sound, until the fire consumed him.
  • We brought her back to the house and placed her in the burn pit on a wooden pyre.
  • Behind the village they erect a pyre, on which they burn the straw figure, reviling and scoffing at it the while.
  • The property and belongings of the deceased were placed on a pyre along with the body, to accompany the spirits.
British Dictionary definitions for pyre


a heap or pile of wood or other combustible material, esp one used for cremating a corpse
Word Origin
C17: from Latin pyra, from Greek pura hearth, from pur fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pyre

1650s, from Latin pyra and directly from Greek pyra "funeral pyre; altar for sacrifice; any place where fire is kindled," from pyr "fire," cognate with Old English fyr (see fire (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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