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firework (plural fireworks)

  1. A device using gunpowder and other chemicals which, when lit, emits a combination of coloured flames, sparks, whistles or bangs, and sometimes made to rocket high into the sky before exploding, used for entertainment or celebration.
    • 1776, Robert Jones; John Muller, “Sect. I. Saltpetre.”, in Artificial Fireworks, Improved to the Modern Practice, from the Minutest to the Highest Branches; [...] Also, Mr. Muller's Fireworks, for Sea and Land Service, [...], 2nd corr. edition, London: Printed for J. Millan, near Whitehall, OCLC 642296266, page 1:
      Saltpetre being the principal ingredient in fireworks, and a volatile body, by reaſon of its aqueous and aërial parts, is eaſily rarified by fire; but not ſo ſoon when foul and groſs, as when purified from its crude and earthy parts, which greatly retard its velocity: therefore, when any quantity of Fireworks are to be made, it ſhould be examined; for if it is not well cleanſed, and of a good ſort, your works will not have their proper effect; []


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