dy·​na·​mite | \ ˈdī-nə-ˌmīt How to pronounce dynamite (audio) \

Definition of dynamite

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an explosive that is made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material and that often contains ammonium nitrate or cellulose nitrate also : an explosive (such as a mixture of ammonium nitrate and nitrocellulose) that contains no nitroglycerin
2 : one that has a powerful effect an actress who's dynamite at the box office also : something that has great potential to cause trouble or conflict an issue regarded as political dynamite


dynamited; dynamiting

Definition of dynamite (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to blow up with dynamite
2 : to cause the failure or destruction of



Definition of dynamite (Entry 3 of 3)

: terrific, wonderful a dynamite performance

Other Words from dynamite


dynamitic \ ˌdī-​nə-​ˈmi-​tik How to pronounce dynamite (audio) \ adjective


dynamiter noun

Examples of dynamite in a Sentence

Noun The death penalty is political dynamite. Verb They plan to dynamite the old building. Adjective They put on a dynamite performance. a summer blockbuster that features some really dynamite special effects
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On April 28, 1958, 54 sticks of dynamite were set outside the temple, but did not explode. al, 16 July 2022 An Oroville resident found a stick of dynamite while gardening, police say. Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022 To excavate the tunnel, workers blasted 45,000 pounds of dynamite. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, 9 June 2022 The company instructed workers to drill and cover holes where dynamite was placed for demolition projects near Lawrenceville, investigators found. Spencer Donovan, ajc, 29 June 2022 The show has a dynamite cast, including the irreverent Kathryn Hahn and scene-stealing Casey Wilson, who help The Shrink Next Door enter the upper echelon of Apple TV+ shows. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 25 May 2022 But with inflation above 8%, cutting interest rates anytime soon would be like testing a flamethrower in a dynamite factory. Jason Zweig, WSJ, 13 May 2022 It was meant admiringly, and Schjeldahl is absolutely right: A disjunction between intentions and effects can produce aesthetic dynamite. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 Here was a collection of pop songs on steroids, hits with more muscle than Gold’s Gym, a stick of musical dynamite that blew up everywhere. Lars Brandle, Billboard, 26 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This dynamite duo from Plowboys BBQ, a joint with locations in Kansas and Missouri, will satisfy all of your classic Kansas City-Style barbecue cravings. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, 30 June 2022 The history of the Indian subcontinent is rife with fascinating stories that make for dynamite action films, and this 2015 drama is a great example. K. Thor Jensen, PCMAG, 8 June 2022 Before Parasite, director Bong Joon-ho made Mother, another dynamite contribution to the world of Korean cinema. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 May 2022 Strip mining in Central Appalachia rips forests from the ground and uses dynamite to blast the tops and sides of mountains to get at coal buried hundreds of feet beneath them. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, 18 Apr. 2022 In some cases, the reasons for failure are obvious: Corals were planted on piles of unstable rubble left behind by dynamite fishing or massive storms and were quickly buried in sediment. Rowan Moore Gerety, Wired, 5 Apr. 2022 Gulf dynamite shrimp spiced with serranos, and sweet and fiery mango habanero salmon, alongside traditional dishes like chicken tikka masala and lamb vindaloo. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 22 Mar. 2022 With pick and shovel and a perilous, pre-dynamite blasting method, the workers built the Windsor Locks Canal from 1827-29. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, 17 Mar. 2022 Yes, actual gunfire and dynamite play a role in the proceedings. Bill Goodykoontz, Detroit Free Press, 22 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Kelsa and Khal are a winning duo with dynamite chemistry. Robert Daniels, Los Angeles Times, 21 July 2022 Create a grid pattern for your posts – here’s a great YouTube video to show you how (psst…Sam is also a dynamite Insta coach). Ashley Stahl, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Davis then issued an Allen charge, sometimes called a dynamite charge - telling jurors to keep deliberating. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 5 July 2022 Their love triangle was dynamite, with fans passionately split. Amanda Ostuni, EW.com, 21 June 2022 Behind a dynamite third quarter and, according to Cleaning The Glass, the second-stingiest defensive performance of their season, the Warriors prevented a lot of Internet chaos in Game 2. Shane Young, Forbes, 6 June 2022 Some characters are actually thriving, including Mercedes’ mother Patrice (the dynamite Harriet D. Foy), whose makeshift church has become a community hub, giving out boxes of food and inspirational CDs. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 June 2022 But what this modern folk poet extraordinaire does have is a dynamite show that hums with raw honesty. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 25 May 2022 Courtney Williams was dynamite for West Linn on both sides of the ball. oregonlive, 25 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of dynamite


1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dynamite


Greek dýnamis "power, strength" + -ite entry 1 — more at dynamic entry 1

Note: Though the principal figure in the development of dynamite, Alfred nobel, was Swedish, the earliest patent for the substance (May, 1867) was filed in the United Kingdom, so the word was effectively first introduced in English rather than in Swedish or German.


derivative of dynamite entry 1


from attributive use of dynamite entry 1

Learn More About dynamite

Time Traveler for dynamite

Time Traveler

The first known use of dynamite was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near dynamite




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dynamite

Last Updated

27 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dynamite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dynamite. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for dynamite


dy·​na·​mite | \ ˈdī-nə-ˌmīt How to pronounce dynamite (audio) \

Kids Definition of dynamite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an explosive used in blasting


dynamited; dynamiting

Kids Definition of dynamite (Entry 2 of 2)

: to blow up with dynamite

More from Merriam-Webster on dynamite

Nglish: Translation of dynamite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dynamite for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dynamite


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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