from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Slang One who carries or sets explosives.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An explosives expert. A person who sets explosives.
- n. The persons employed to carry gun powder from the ship's magazine to the gun deck during a battle; in the 18th century Royal British and U. S. Navies, this task (also carrying water) during battles became a permanent nickname for the ship's cabin boys and apprentice seamen.
- n. A skier or snowboarder who avidly seeks out the “powder” (light, dry, fluffy snow).
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a boy formerly employed on war vessels to carry powder; a powder boy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A boy employed on ships to carry powder from the magazine to the guns.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone who carries explosives (as from the magazine to the guns on board a warship)
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Jesse Edwards: An eleven-year-old powder monkey on the brig Lawrence during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie.