adjective \ik-ˈsplō-siv, -ziv\

: able to cause an explosion : used for exploding something

: relating to an explosion or caused by an explosion

: tending to get angry very easily

Full Definition of EXPLOSIVE

a :  relating to, characterized by, or operated by explosion <an explosive hatch>
b :  resulting from or as if from an explosion <explosive population growth>
a :  tending to explode <an explosive person>
b :  likely to erupt in or produce hostile reaction or violence <an explosive ghetto situation>
ex·plo·sive·ly adverb
ex·plo·sive·ness noun

Examples of EXPLOSIVE

  1. He has an explosive temper.
  2. <there's been an explosive interest in the sport since the Olympics>

First Known Use of EXPLOSIVE


Rhymes with EXPLOSIVE



: a substance (such as dynamite) that is used to cause an explosion : an explosive substance

Full Definition of EXPLOSIVE

:  an explosive substance
:  a consonant characterized by explosion in its articulation when it occurs in certain environments :  stop

First Known Use of EXPLOSIVE



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any substance or device that can produce a volume of rapidly expanding gas in an extremely brief period. Mechanical explosives, which depend on a physical reaction (e.g., overloading a container with compressed air until it bursts), are little used except in mining. Nuclear explosives (see nuclear weapon) use either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Chemical explosives are of two types: detonating (high) explosives (e.g., TNT, dynamite) have extremely rapid decomposition and development of high pressure; deflagrating (low) explosives (e.g., black powder, smokeless powder; see gunpowder) merely burn quickly and produce relatively low pressure. Primary detonating explosives are ignited by a flame, a spark, or an impact; secondary ones require a detonator and sometimes a booster. Modern high explosives use either mixtures of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil or ammonium nitrate-based water gels.


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