black powder

noun

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

Learn Scout skills, camping, canoeing, tomahawk throwing, fishing, plus shoot a black powder rifle and watch a Scout movie in the evening. Shiela Johnson, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "North Carroll: Manchester Valley High holding restaurant fundraisers; Harvest Happenings in Manchester," 16 Sep. 2019 Steber was in possession of two firearms, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a black powder/percussion double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun, police said. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "College student studied mass shootings and kept guns in dorm room, police say," 29 Aug. 2019 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. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "Can't Set Off Fireworks? Try These Science-Backed Alternatives," 4 July 2019 In the early 1970s, a neighbor in Houston told Joe Wolf that the local K-Mart was liquidating its black powder firearms and equipment. John Goodspeed, ExpressNews.com, "Black powder passion: Modern mountain man breathes life into history," 11 July 2019 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. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "Can't Set Off Fireworks? Try These Science-Backed Alternatives," 4 July 2019 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. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "Can't Set Off Fireworks? Try These Science-Backed Alternatives," 4 July 2019 One serves as the base, upon which a fairly hefty cylinder of black powder is placed. John D'anna, azcentral, "Arizona town's unique July 4 celebration didn't make the Washington Post's list, but it should have," 3 July 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of black powder

1793, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about black powder

Statistics for black powder

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for black powder

The first known use of black powder was in 1793

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on black powder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with black powder

Comments on black powder

What made you want to look up black powder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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