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

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, Sun-Sentinel.com, "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. chicagotribune.com, "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, Philly.com, "Fishtown's Suraya is one of the most exciting new dining destinations of the year," 22 June 2018 Instructors will also guide attendees through specialty shooting disciplines such as clay target, cowboy action, practical pistol, black powder and air gun. azcentral, "A guide to all spring festivals in Phoenix from April through May," 6 Mar. 2018 Back then, black powder used in battle ships and torpedo warheads was brought to the property for storage, according to the Woodlands Conservancy website. Sara Sneath, NOLA.com, "Visiting Navy, Marines help restore World War II ammunition depots in Belle Chasse," 25 Apr. 2018 More: Washington state man arrested in cases of suspicious packages sent to government offices FBI bomb technicians examined the devices and found the black powder was flammable. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "11 packages containing explosives, letters sent to Washington, D.C., area before man's arrest," 28 Mar. 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

Share black powder

Statistics for black powder

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

See 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

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!