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Firework   Listen
firework  n.  
A device for producing a striking display of light, or a figure or figures in plain or colored fire, by the combustion of materials that burn in some peculiar manner, as gunpowder, sulphur, metallic filings, and various salts; also called a pyrotechnic device. The most common feature of fireworks is a paper or pasteboard tube filled with the combustible material. A number of these tubes or cases are often combined so as to make, when kindled, a great variety of figures in fire, often variously colored. The skyrocket is a common form of firework. The art of designing fireworks for purposes of entertainment is called pyrotechnics. The name firework is also given to various combustible preparations used in war.
pl. A pyrotechnic exhibition; an entertainment consisting of the discharge of fireworks (1). (Obs. in the sing.) "Night before last, the Duke of Richmond gave a firework."

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Firework" Quotes from Famous Books

... bells had been ringing, and now the room began to be illuminated by fitful flashes of variegated light from the firework-frame on the top of Sky Hill, which (as well as it could for the rain that had soaked it) was sputtering out its mocking legend, "God ...
— The Woman Thou Gavest Me - Being the Story of Mary O'Neill • Hall Caine

... thereabouts, where by the ignition of a fuse associated with a detonator, the gun-cotton should be fired, sending its sound in all directions vertically and obliquely down upon earth and sea. The first attempt to realise this idea was made on July 18, 1876, at the firework manufactory of the Messrs. Brock, at Nunhead. Eight rockets were then fired, four being charged with 5 oz. and four with 7.5 oz. of gun-cotton. They ascended to a great height, and exploded with a very loud report in the air. On July ...
— Fragments of science, V. 1-2 • John Tyndall

... which passed through the midst of the dazzled people, to whom they recalled fairy-tales, Cinderella chariots, while evoking those "Oh's!" of admiration that mount and die away with the rockets on the evenings of firework displays. And in the crowd there was always to be found some good-natured policeman, some learned little grocer sauntering round on the lookout for public ceremonies, ready to name in a loud voice all the people in the carriages, as they defiled past, with ...
— The Nabob • Alphonse Daudet

... for one greatly prefer the sort of frivolity that is thrown to the surface like froth to the sort of frivolity that festers under the surface like slime. To pelt an enemy with a foolish pun or two will never do him any grave injustice; the firework is obviously a firework and not a deadly fire. It may be playing to the gallery, but even the gallery knows it is ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... gunpowder. And yet there were fireworks of a kind from the earliest times, from the first appearance of stars in the firmament with their wandering habits and shooting expeditions. And, indeed, did not humanity long regard the heavens as a firework show for its amusement, a set piece entirely for its delectation? Mankind has always been fond of playing with fire—ever since Prometheus stole it from heaven and burnt his fingers. I am convinced the ancients only used bonfires for messages so as to enjoy the flare-up on the ...
— Without Prejudice • Israel Zangwill

... sparkling jewelry, flaming cheeks, flashing eyes, and words thrown off like scintillating sparks, she suggested an exquisite July firework, burning longer than usual and surprising every one. Admiration followed her like a torrent, and her vanity dilated without measure as attention and compliments were almost forced upon her, and yet it was frank, good-natured vanity, as naturally to be expected in her case as a throng ...
— What Can She Do? • Edward Payson Roe

... which they could not face, or focusing its intensity upon some mass of foliage that seemed to shrink at its touch and open a scathed and quivering aisle to its approach. The enormous skeleton of a dead and rotten redwood, not a hundred yards to their right, broke suddenly like a gigantic firework ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... pleasure that would be experienced by the ordinary "romp" at home were he able to make so vast an impression with his everyday practical jokes; and it was to me a matter of tremendous wonder that a harmless biscuit-tin, a common or garden firework, and a "domestic" pig could possibly combine to cause such ...
— Adventures in Many Lands • Various

... gentleman, and all these accumulations that he could not get into his talk, he proposed to put away for the big volume of "Reminiscences" that was to round off his life. At last he was a mere conversational firework, crammed with latent wit and jollity, and ready to blaze and sparkle in fizzing style as soon as the light of social intercourse ...
— Select Conversations with an Uncle • H. G. Wells

... the piano continued running over the pretty firework melodies of last season's metropolitan success—a success built entirely on a Viennese waltz, the air of which might have been taken from almost any ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... greatness to impart to Armado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen the world: but let that pass. The very all of all is, but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy, that the King would have me present the princess, sweet chuck, with some delightful ostentation, or show, or pageant, or antic, or firework. Now, understanding that the curate and your sweet self are good at such eruptions and sudden breaking-out of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to ...
— Love's Labour's Lost • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... For any demonstration that can be given to the contrary effect, the "collection of perceptions" which makes up our consciousness may be an orderly phantasmagoria generated by the Ego, unfolding its successive scenes on the background of the abyss of nothingness; as a firework, which is but cunningly arranged combustibles, grows from a spark into a coruscation, and from a coruscation into figures, and words, and cascades of devouring fire, and then vanishes into the darkness ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... with yourself, young woman! Your eyes are sparkling as if you were having a firework exhibition on your own account. I never saw a school-mistress look so perky at the end of the summer term! Look as if ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... else to wait for, and that all was said and done until ten o'clock the next morning, the time when the cardinals had their first voting, went off in a tumult of noisy joking, just as they would after the last rocket of a firework display; so that at the end of one minute nobody was there where a quarter of an hour before there had been an excited crowd, except a few curious laggards, who, living in the neighbourhood or on the very piazza itself; were less in a hurry than the rest ...
— The Borgias - Celebrated Crimes • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... country is thick with guns. In the past twelve hours there has been a terrific bombardment, the guns booming incessantly. Even Loos, which wasn't so bad while it lasted, pales into insignificance in comparison. At night the sky reminds one of the Crystal Palace firework show in its palmiest days. It is a fine place this from the point of view of health, being high up and open to the fresh air and the sunshine. I am feeling absolutely splendid both in health and spirits. It is a treat to be up ...
— War Letters of a Public-School Boy • Henry Paul Mainwaring Jones

... design in Nature that strikes us first; the sense of the crosses and confusions in that design only comes afterwards through experience and an almost eerie monotony. If a man saw the stars abruptly by accident he would think them as festive and as artificial as a firework. We talk of the folly of painting the lily; but if we saw the lily without warning we should think that it was painted. We talk of the devil not being so black as he is painted; but that very phrase is a ...
— What's Wrong With The World • G.K. Chesterton

... consisted of an arrangement for burning phosphorus at the stern of a ship; in other cases firework composition and other chemicals were used. A dense smoke cloud was thus formed, and, with the wind in a suitable direction, a vessel could hide her movements from an enemy submarine or other vessel, and thus screen herself from accurate ...
— The Crisis of the Naval War • John Rushworth Jellicoe

... morning. About eleven the thunder had ceased, but the broad flashes of lightning were still frequent. The lightning was forked and jagged, and one remarkable thing was the length of time that the line of intense light was kept up, like a gigantic firework, so that the shape of the flash could be drawn with entire accuracy by any one that could handle a pencil. It was a grand and solemn sight and sound, and I am very thankful we were preserved from danger, for the ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

Words linked to "Firework" :   pyrotechnic, cracker, low explosive, Roman candle, fizgig, plural form, maroon, serpent, rocket, catherine wheel, skyrocket, sparkler, squib, banger

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