from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of a class of powerful explosives composed of nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate dispersed in an absorbent medium with a combustible dope, such as wood pulp, and an antacid, such as calcium carbonate, used in blasting and mining.
  • noun Something exceptionally exciting or wonderful.
  • noun Something exceptionally dangerous.
  • transitive verb To blow up, shatter, or otherwise destroy with dynamite.
  • adjective Outstanding; superb.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An explosive of great power, consisting of a mixture of nitroglycerin with some absorbent such as sawdust, or a certain silicious earth from Oberlohe in Hanover.
  • To mine or charge with dynamite in order to prevent the approach of an enemy, or for destructive purposes.
  • To blow up or destroy by or as if by dynamite.
  • noun Nitroglycerin soaked up by silicious earth as an inert absorbent or ‘dope’ is now distinguished as dynamite No. 1, and the meaning of the word is extended so as to include also numerous mixtures of nitro-glycerin with absorbents which increase the force of the explosion. See dope, 3.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) An explosive substance consisting of nitroglycerin absorbed by some inert, porous solid, as infusorial earth, sawdust, etc. It is safer than nitroglycerin, being less liable to explosion from moderate shocks, or from spontaneous decomposition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A class of explosives made from nitroglycerine in an absorbent medium such as kieselguhr, used in mining and blasting; invented by Alfred Nobel in 1867.
  • noun figuratively Anything exceptionally dangerous, exciting or wonderful.
  • verb To blow up with dynamite or other high explosive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb blow up with dynamite
  • noun an explosive containing nitrate sensitized with nitroglycerin absorbed on wood pulp


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Swedish dynamit, from Greek dunamis, power; see dynamic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by Nobel, the inventor. Ultimately from Ancient Greek δύναμις (dunamis, "power") +‎ -ite, possibly under the influence of dynamo or dynamic.



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