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

  • n. A highly flammable nitrocellulose used in the manufacture of collodion, plastics, and lacquers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A highly inflammable form of nitrocellulose; used in the manufacture of collodion and lacquers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A substance resembling gun cotton in composition and properties, but distinct in that it is more highly nitrified and is soluble in alcohol, ether, etc.; -- called also pyroxyle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Guncotton or a similar substance obtained by immersing vegetable fiber in nitric or nitrosulphuric acid, and then suffering it to dry. Such substances are nitro-derivatives of cellulose. Also pyroxyle.
  • n. This term is now usually applied to the less highly nitrated product of the interaction of cellulose and nitric acid, soluble in a mixture of ether and alcohol, not to the more highly nitrated insoluble gun-cotton used as an explosive.

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

  • n. highly flammable nitrocellulose used in making collodion and plastics and lacquers


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Creative and innovative, always interested in new techniques and materials, Siqueiros frequently used pyroxylin, a substance related to gun-cotton, which dries with amazing speed.

    The artist as activist: David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974)

  • With a barely audible fumpf, one hundred grams of pyroxylin thermite ignited, propelling the case-hardened penetrator tip into the thick metal panel, instantly vaporizing the lock, bolt, and latch with a jet of 2,800-degree molten tungsten.

    The Dick Cheney Code

  • These nitrates are variously known as nitrocellulose, pyroxylin, and gun cotton.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • The best is one which I use, made of pyroxylin, the soluble cotton of commerce, dissolved in amyl acetate and acetone with some other substances that make it perfectly sterile.

    The War Terror

  • Collodion is made by dissolving 5 grams of pyroxylin in the following mixture:

    The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

  • Raw cotton is used in compounding gun cotton or explosive cotton, also named _pyroxylin_, and this is used to make collodion, so extensively employed in medicine.

    The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines

  • The hexa-nitrate, or gun-cotton, has the formula, C_ {12} H_ {14} O_ {4} (ONO_ {2}) _ {6}; and collodion-cotton, pyroxylin, &c., form the lower nitrates, i.e., the tetra - and penta-nitrates.

    Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise


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