black powder


Definition of black powder

: an explosive mixture of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur used especially in fireworks and as a propellant in antique firearms — compare gunpowder

Examples of black powder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The coarse powder clung to the men’s damp skin like beach sand. Because soldiers tended to favor one side of their mouth for tearing open cartridges, men with half their mouth smeared with black powder—a grotesque carnival touch—was a common sight. Peter Cozzens, WSJ, "‘A Fierce Glory’ Review: Victory at a Very High Price," 21 Sep. 2018 But the shade Not Your Basic Witch is a straight-up black powder pigment. Marci Robin, Allure, "Wet n Wild's Not Your Basic Witch Highlighter Is My $5 Secret for a Witchy Smoky Eye," 5 Oct. 2018 The center was bombed just before morning prayers when the attackers broke a window to the imam’s office and threw a pipe bomb containing black powder inside, sparking a fire that caused extensive damage. David Crary, The Seattle Times, "Bomb scare rattles those touched by past political violence," 27 Oct. 2018 From black powder to barium, music to mortars, pyrotechnics pro Jim Souza, whose company puts on the Macy's 4th of July Show in New York, explains the year-long process behind putting on a major performance. Alex Davies, WIRED, "The Delightfully Nonsensical Slingshot Might Just Be the Future of Driving," 4 July 2018 Gunpowder, also known as black powder, is a key component in pretty much all fireworks. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 According to the sheriff’s office, agents seized: approximately 30,000 rounds of ammunition; 15 pistols; three revolvers; nine hunting and military style rifles; two shotguns; an ammunition reloading machine and several pounds of black powder. Doug Phillips,, "Ex-con wasn't allowed to have guns but had 29 firearms and 30,000 rounds of ammo, cops say," 29 June 2018 The criminal complaint says investigators found a letter, a fuse, a GPS device and a half-ounce vial containing black powder that tested positive for the flammable compound nitrocellulose in the package that arrived in Baltimore., "FBI makes arrest connected to suspicious packages sent to federal buildings," 28 Mar. 2018 The meltingly juicy chunks of skewered halibut for dinner, marinated in cuminy yogurt for hours and dusted with the tangy black powder of grated dried Omani limes, were a revelation. Craig Laban,, "Fishtown's Suraya is one of the most exciting new dining destinations of the year," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black powder.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of black powder

1793, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for black powder

The first known use of black powder was in 1793

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black powder

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an enemy or opponent

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