: a crystalline ester C5H8N4O12 used as a powerful high explosive and medically in the treatment of angina pectoris
… the experts determined that its explosive content was identical to that of the Honolulu bomb—PETN, an explosive undetectable by X-ray.Steven Emerson

called also pentaerythritol tetranitrate

Word History


pentaerythritol tetranitrate

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of PETN was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near PETN

Cite this Entry

“PETN.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/PETN. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!