explosive

adjective
ex·​plo·​sive | \ ik-ˈsplō-siv How to pronounce explosive (audio) , -ziv\

Definition of explosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : relating to, characterized by, or operated by explosion an explosive hatch
b : resulting from or as if from an explosion explosive population growth
2a : tending to explode an explosive person
b : likely to erupt in or produce hostile reaction or violence an explosive ghetto situation

explosive

noun

Definition of explosive (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an explosive substance
2 : a consonant characterized by explosion in its articulation when it occurs in certain environments : stop

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from explosive

Adjective

explosively adverb
explosiveness noun

Examples of explosive in a Sentence

Adjective

He has an explosive temper. there's been an explosive interest in the sport since the Olympics

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Each warhead in turn has an explosive yield between 100 kilotons (100,000 tons of TNT) and 455 kilotons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Officially Begins Building Its New Missile Submarine," 29 May 2019 This song can accompany your explosive reaction to spilling 12-year-old paint thinner all over the floor. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "100 Songs to Clean the Garage To," 20 Nov. 2018 That’s why Zamora’s direct attack on Star and his massive fan base lit a match, inviting an explosive reaction from Star fans defending their friend. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Laura Lee, Jeffree Star, and the racism scandal upending the YouTube beauty community, explained," 28 Aug. 2018 The next decade is set to bring explosive commercial growth and more private industry players to low-earth orbit, the area spanning 100 to 1,240 miles above the planet’s... Ariel Ekblaw, WSJ, "Space Is Poised for Explosive Growth. Let’s Get It Right.," 8 Apr. 2019 The boost was likely a result of the explosive sales growth of skin care, the patron saint of the self-care movement. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 As the Times reported: Pushing for explosive growth, Facebook got more users, lifting its advertising revenue. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Report: Facebook let major tech firms access private messages, friends lists," 18 Dec. 2018 On Sunday, the Carr Fire near Redding slowed for the first time after days of explosive growth. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "14-foot python that escaped California's Carr Fire caught after slithering into city streets," 31 July 2018 The number of companies constantly monitoring employees isn’t known, but the screening industry itself has seen explosive growth in recent years. Michael Sasso And Jeff Green, latimes.com, "Get ready for rolling background checks at work," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Colombia is a country especially affected by explosives. Megan Janetsky, Teen Vogue, "Meet the Women Who Detonate Land Mines in Colombia’s Former War Zones," 24 Apr. 2019 Most demonstrators kept their distance from the border, though small crowds of activists approached the perimeter fence and threw stones and explosives toward Israeli troops on the other side. Fares Akram, The Seattle Times, "Rockets from Gaza Strip hit Israel; 4 die at border protest," 31 Mar. 2019 Hundreds of bombs and explosives have been found there over decades since World War II. Paul Brinkmann, OrlandoSentinel.com, "DOJ to settle in Orlando bombing range cleanup; 4,000 homes planned at 417 & 528," 25 May 2018 All three were convicted or pleaded guilty to explosives and immigration violations and went to prison, getting out in the 1990s. Wilson Ring, The Seattle Times, "Former police chief recalls foiling terrorism case at border," 4 Feb. 2019 Many public buildings in Nairobi, including the Riverside complex, have metal detectors and security guards sweeping cars for weapons and explosives. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Questions Mount as Kenyan Hotel Siege Ends," 16 Jan. 2019 The appeals-court ruled that TSA officers search for weapons and explosives in an administrative way, rather than like a criminal investigation that would lead to arrests. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Court: TSA officers immune from most checkpoint lawsuits," 11 July 2018 Those restrictions prohibit wood and charcoal fires, smoking outside of an enclosed vehicle or building, and using explosives and fireworks. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Fourth of July in Arizona: Where you can go and where you can't," 27 June 2018 The aircraft will be swept for explosives and passengers will be subject to additional security screenings. CBS News, "United Airlines flight diverted after bomb threat found on board," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explosive.' 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 explosive

Adjective

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about explosive

Statistics for explosive

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explosive

The first known use of explosive was in 1696

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for explosive

explosive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of explosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: able to cause an explosion : used for exploding something
: relating to an explosion or caused by an explosion
: tending to get angry very easily

explosive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of explosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance (such as dynamite) that is used to cause an explosion : an explosive substance

explosive

adjective
ex·​plo·​sive | \ ik-ˈsplō-siv How to pronounce explosive (audio) , -ziv\

Kids Definition of explosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : able to cause explosion the explosive power of gunpowder
2 : tending to show anger easily : likely to explode an explosive temper

Other Words from explosive

explosively adverb

explosive

noun

Kids Definition of explosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that is used to cause an explosion

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on explosive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!