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

Part two consists of firing an explosive charge at Ryugu, creating a crater and an even larger cloud of debris. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Watch the Hayabusa Spacecraft Blow Up an Asteroid Tonight," 4 Apr. 2019 The underrecognized painter captured the harshness and beauty of Spain’s life, landscapes and explosive light in fast brushwork and stunning effects. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light’ Review: A Glowing Love of Place," 26 Mar. 2019 It was framed by his response to an explosive interview that was published late Thursday blasting Mrs. May’s handling of negotiations for Britain’s departure from the European Union, or Brexit. New York Times, "Trump Brings His Own Style to a Day of Damage Control in Britain," 13 July 2018 The book doesn’t include some of the most explosive allegations that Mr. McCabe made in his CBS interview. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Ex-FBI Official McCabe Says He Approved Trump Probe After James Comey Firing," 14 Feb. 2019 But House Democratic leaders probably don’t want to take up such a potentially explosive issue too soon after finally clawing back a modicum of power in Trump’s Washington. Dylan Scott, Vox, "What the new Democratic House majority might actually pass on health care," 7 Nov. 2018 What started as a close relationship ended dramatically thanks to some explosive tabloid scandals. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "How Princess Eugenie's Wedding Proves Sarah Ferguson Is Back in the Royal Fold," 12 Oct. 2018 The former lottery pick is just 23, and, when healthy, is one of the league's most explosive guards. 12. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "LeBron James, Paul George and the top 40 NBA free agents of 2018," 28 June 2018 Park was the father of Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s first female president, who was ousted from office last year over an explosive corruption scandal and is now serving a 24-year prison term. Hyung-jin Kim, Washington Post, "Kim Jong-pil, spymaster and two-time prime minister of South Korea, dies at 92," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Authorities found explosive powder and tutorials on how to make explosives and poison from materials such as ricin, the official said. Bloomberg.com, "French Government Says Attack Foiled, Egyptian Man Arrested," 18 May 2018 The offices, under the jurisdiction of the Federal Protective Service, screens all visitors for weapons and explosives. Laura Mcknight, NOLA.com, "Man's phone lit up with child pornography during security check: U.S. Attorney's office," 11 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

Statistics for explosive

Last Updated

11 Apr 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

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!