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

  • adjective Relating to or having the nature of an explosion.
  • adjective Tending to explode.
  • noun A substance, especially a prepared chemical, that explodes or causes explosion.
  • noun Linguistics A plosive.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The principal classes of explosive substances are: gunpowder
  • noun nitroglycerin and its compounds, the most important being dynamite
  • noun gun-cotton and similar nitro-substitution compounds
  • noun picric acid and the picrates
  • noun fulminates
  • noun Sprengel safety-mixtures
  • noun nitrate mixtures other than gunpowder, and chlorate mixtures. There are many varieties of each class.
  • Pertaining to or of the nature of explosion; tending or liable to explode, or to cause explosion: as, the explosive force of gunpowder; explosive mixture; explosive paroxysms of nerve-force.
  • In philology, involving in utterance the breach of a complete closure of the organs; not continuous; mute; forming a complete vocal stop: as, an explosive consonant. See II., 2.
  • noun Any substance by whose decomposition or combustion gas is generated with such rapidity that it can be used for blasting or in firearms.
  • noun In philology, a non-continuous or mute consonant, as k, t, p. Also explodent.

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

  • adjective Driving or bursting out with violence and noise; causing explosion.
  • noun An explosive agent; a compound or mixture susceptible of a rapid chemical reaction, as gunpowder, TNT, dynamite, or nitro-glycerine.
  • noun A sound produced by an explosive impulse of the breath; (Phonetics) one of consonants p, b, t, d, k, g, which are sounded with a sort of explosive power of voice. [See Guide to Pronunciation, √ 155-7, 184.]

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

  • noun Explosive substance.
  • adjective With the capability to, or likely to, explode.
  • adjective Having the character of an explosion.
  • adjective slang Easily driven to anger, usually with reference to a person.

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

  • adjective liable to lead to sudden change or violence
  • adjective sudden and loud
  • noun a chemical substance that undergoes a rapid chemical change (with the production of gas) on being heated or struck
  • adjective serving to explode or characterized by explosion or sudden outburst


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "...the breach of a complete closure of the organs."

    April 5, 2011