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pyromania

[pahy-ruh-mey-nee-uh, -meyn-yuh] /ˌpaɪ rəˈmeɪ ni ə, -ˈmeɪn yə/
noun
1.
a compulsion to set things on fire.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; pyro- + -mania
Related forms
pyromaniac
[pahy-ruh-mey-nee-ak] /ˌpaɪ rəˈmeɪ niˌæk/ (Show IPA),
noun
pyromaniacal
[pahy-roh-muh-nahy-uh-kuh l] /ˌpaɪ roʊ məˈnaɪ ə kəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pyro-maniacal

pyromania

/ˌpaɪrəʊˈmeɪnɪə/
noun
1.
(psychiatry) the uncontrollable impulse and practice of setting things on fire
Derived Forms
pyromaniac, noun
pyromaniacal (ˌpaɪrəʊməˈnaɪəkəl) adjective
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
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Word Origin and History for pyro-maniacal

pyromania

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pyro-maniacal in Medicine

pyromania py·ro·ma·ni·a (pī'rō-mā'nē-ə, -mān'yə)
n.
An uncontrollable impulse to start fires.


py'ro·ma'ni·ac' (-mā'nē-āk') adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pyro-maniacal in Culture
pyromania [(peye-roh-may-nee-uh)]

An uncontrollable urge to set fires.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for pyro-maniacal

pyromania

impulse-control disorder characterized by the recurrent compulsion to set fires. The term refers only to the setting of fires for sexual or other gratification provided by the fire itself, not to arson for profit or revenge. Pyromania is usually a symptom of underlying psychopathology, often associated with aggressive behaviours. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, noted that the majority of pyromaniacs are males with a history of bed-wetting and suggested that pyromania is one of many disorders brought on by the denial of instinctual drives, in this case a male desire to control fire by urination. Later psychoanalysts found his explanation too simplistic. Among other suggested causes of pyromania are the feeling of rejection and the wish for the return of an absent father.

Learn more about pyromania with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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