from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various explosive powders used to propel projectiles from guns, especially a black mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An explosive mixture of saltpetre (potassium nitrate), charcoal and sulphur; formerly used in gunnery but now mostly used in fireworks.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A black, granular, explosive substance, consisting of an intimate mechanical mixture of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulphur. It is used in gunnery and blasting.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An explosive mixture of saltpeter, sulphur, and charcoal, reduced to fine powder, and thoroughly incorporated with each other, then granulated, cleaned or dusted, glazed or polished, and dried.
- n. Picric-acid powders (these are not generally stable);
- n. ammonium-nitrate powders (these are highly hygroscopic);
- n. gun-cotton powders;
- n. nitroglycerin and guncotton powders. The first two classes have practically been abandoned. Smokeless powders are designated from their appearance, the name of the inventor, or arbitrarily, as cordite, Peyton, poudre B., etc.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur in a 75:15:10 ratio which is used in gunnery, time fuses, and fireworks
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Smokeless gunpowder is hard to ignite, and it burns very hot and very quickly once you get it going.
In NYC, I highly recommend the gunpowder masala dosa at Chennai Garden (they call it gunpowder for a reason, trust me).
Whoomp, it went, and burned with a brief, merry flame, just the way gunpowder is supposed to.
The old system of primer and gunpowder is going to be replaced by something entirely different — maybe along the lines of the electronic rail gun that NASA is experimenting with.
As I write I work opt the idea -- gasoline, balls of oakum, caps and gunpowder from a few cartridges, Roman candles, and flares blue, red, and green, shallow metal receptacles to carry the explosive and inflammable stuff; and a trigger-like arrangement by which, pulling on a string, the caps are exploded in the gunpowder and fire set to the gasoline-soaked oakum and to the flares and candles.
"Humph!" said Mr. Howard, – "gunpowder is pretty quiet stuff so long as it keeps cool."
The New York and Liverpool firm that your father belongs to sent on board an honest and peaceable cargo, but there was a good deal of room left in the hold, and the captain filled it up with cannon-balls, musket-bullets, and gunpowder from the English agents of no less a man than General Santa
As I walked forward to obey, my eye fell on a small keg standing by the side of the main-mast, on which the word gunpowder was written in pencil.
"Gracious! we shall be all blown up!" exclaimed Phoebe, -- the word gunpowder being the only one which she understood in the knight's description.
If a society has invented gunpowder, retains knowledge of it, but doesn't use it as our bundled concept of "gunpowder" - or even use it at all - we don't say that they don't have the technology of gunpowder.