explosive

adjective
ex·plo·sive | \ik-ˈsplō-siv, -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

Launching a rocket with water would in fact be a lot safer than launching it with additional rocket fuel and oxygen on board, which can be explosive. Charles W. Dunnill, Scientific American, "Method of Making Oxygen from Water in Zero Gravity Raises Hope for Long-Distance Space Travel," 10 July 2018 If Wielgus’s reasoning was correct, the finding was explosive. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 The core strength and rotational athleticism is explosive, spinning like a ballerina to create lots of pop through the ball. Doug Haller, azcentral, "ASU's Herm Edwards plays to win the game – except on the golf course," 3 July 2018 Mexico has been explosive on the counterattack, particularly in its epic 1-0 victory over Germany. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Mexico hopes to end streak against Brazil," 29 June 2018 Situations could be explosive, which only adds to the pressure of the moment. BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 27 June 2018 Whippets are a sighthound, originally bred for chasing down game such as rabbits, and their speed is explosive. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Meet Spitty, the Whippet Who Holds Five World Records," 22 June 2018 Losers: The viewing public Some drafts are explosive. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "2018 NBA Draft: Biggest Winners and Losers," 22 June 2018 Whippets are a sighthound, originally bred for chasing down game such as rabbits, and their speed is explosive. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "This Whippet Is One of the World's Great Athletes," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No injuries were reported, but several city vehicles were damaged by the explosives. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Firefighters, police in NC city assaulted by July 4 fireworks," 5 July 2018 Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s laudable attempt to warn of the dangers of fireworks may have backfired when his PSA video instead showcased a fun use for the mini-explosives -- igniting fruit. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Los Angeles mayor's fireworks warning proves lethal -- to a watermelon, anyway," 4 July 2018 His job is to verify that the products and paperwork are in order before allowing pyrotechnic crews to unload the explosives. Susan Hoffman, latimes.com, "Newport’s fireworks safety specialists get the Fourth ready to fly," 3 July 2018 The chance of catastrophic injury only increases when people misuse the explosives. Elyssa Cherney, chicagotribune.com, "As more fireworks find their way into public's hands, catastrophic injuries on the rise," 2 July 2018 The bomber, who was on foot, detonated the explosives at around 11:30 a.m. local time near the Loya Jorga hall at the Kabul Polytechnic University, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told CNN. Ehsan Popalzai And Hilary Clarke, CNN, "Bomber attacks meeting of Islamic scholars in Afghanistan," 4 June 2018 The explosives found on campus were functional, a development that could open up the possibility of federal charges in the case against the suspect. Keri Blakinger, Gabrielle Banks And Brooke Lewis, San Antonio Express-News, "Santa Fe community grieves as investigation continues into massacre," 20 May 2018 Investigators have also said multiple explosive devices were discovered at the school and in surrounding areas; multiple other scenes are being investigated in connection to the explosives. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Politicians React to School Shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas," 18 May 2018 Law enforcement officials believe Pagourtzis assembled the explosives himself. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Suspected shooter identified: What we know about the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 18 May 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

Phrases Related to explosive

plastic explosive

Statistics for explosive

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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, -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

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?
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!