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

  • n. An explosive mixture composed of nitroglycerine, guncotton, wood pulp, and potassium nitrate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An explosive mixture of nitroglycerine and nitrate absorbed onto a base of wood pulp.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A trade-name for an explosive of the dynamite class, consisting of 65 parts of gelatin (96 percent, nitroglycerin and 4 per cent. nitrocotton) and 35 parts of dope (75 per cent. sodium nitrate, 1 per cent. sodium carbonate, and 24 per cent. wood-pulp).

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

  • n. a type of dynamite in which the nitroglycerin is absorbed in a base of wood pulp and sodium or potassium nitrate


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

gel(atin) + Latin ignis, fire + -ite1.


  • Gun cotton and gelignite were used – the former to cut steelwork and the latter to destroy the piers supporting the spans.

    Alan Glass

  • The bridge roadways were cut by suspending a cradle underneath, placing boxes of gelignite on the cradle and then hauling the whole contraption up tight against the under-surface of the roadway.

    Alan Glass

  • The fat beared imbeciles, otherwise known as the F. B.I, running into each other as they try to ignite each other's gelignite laden jock straps; tripping over placards as they troop glumly into court.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • It was the day they found the valise in Waterloo with enough gelignite to blow a train engine through the south wall, so the papers said.

    Confessions of an I.R.A. Terrorist

  • Later, for the Land Commission, I dug ditches and drains, using sticks of gelignite to blast out large rocks.

    Beautiful, Genuine, Irish

  • Dynamite, gelignite, TNT, black and smokeless powder, even military plastique and straight nitro.

    The Devil's Bedpost

  • In his Mirror column today, the impeccably-connected Labour polemicist Kevin Maguire proposes Balls for Number 11 as if this was manifestly a good thing rather than the stick of political gelignite it would actually be.

    Gordon Brown, Charlie Whelan and Me

  • It can fool you into thinking there are Scotsmen who are worth the gelignite it would take to blow them back to hell.

    Archive 2009-02-08

  • Born in a Durham mining village in 1914, Eddie Chapman enlisted in the Coldstream Guards, but he soon discovered Soho, girls, and gambling, was discharged for going AWOL, and turned to petty crime, less petty when he graduated to gelignite and safecracking.


  • I am reminded horribly of the period 1994-7 when the prospective successors to John Major jostled for position, all making speeches coated in plausible deniability but with a core of political gelignite: vote for me as the next leader.

    The Labour beauty contest


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  • "And coming back after a big storm! That was the go. The road blocked by fallen trees. How he had loved shifting them.

    They called him 'Jack the Gelly' in Point's Point.

    He blasted those trees with gelignite and never, as long as he did it, did he ever learn to carry enough fuse so as they approached home the fuses would be shorter and shorter...."

    —Peter Carey, Illywhacker, 89

    April 15, 2009

  • Five hundred years like Gelignite

    Have blown us all to hell

    October 9, 2007