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Pale yellow, solid organic compound made by adding nitrate (NO) groups to toluene. Because TNT melts below the boiling point of water but explodes only above 464 °F (240 °C), it can safely be melted and poured into casings. It is relatively insensitive to shock and, for practical purposes, cannot be exploded without a detonator, making it the preferred chemical explosive, used in munitions and for demolition.
Variants of TNT
TNT in full trinitrotoluene
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on TNT, visit Britannica.com.