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

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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 The edge rusher from Ohio State is explosive, powerful, and the type of talent that offensive coordinators will have nightmares trying to game plan against. Allen Kim, CNN, "Bengals select Joe Burrow with the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft," 23 Apr. 2020 Indianapolis defines an explosive passing play as any throw that produces 16 yards or more; eight of Johnson’s 17 catches covered more than 16 yards, including grabs of 50 yards and 46 yards against Tampa Bay. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts bring back deep threat Marcus Johnson, adding WR depth day before NFL Draft," 22 Apr. 2020 The results were explosive: only around one in seven of those self-isolating actually had the virus, which meant that many who had been staying at home could in fact safely work. The Economist, "Testing What’s gone wrong with covid-19 testing in Britain," 4 Apr. 2020 As the journalist Thomas Hauser documents in his excellent 1980 history of the episode, The Trial of Patrolman Thomas Shea, the public outcry and court case that ensued were explosive. Patrick Blanchfield, The New Republic, "The poisonous contradictions of coptalk," 31 Mar. 2020 The other half were not explosive, and instead designed to emit smoke so the pilots could see where the bona fide bombs landed. Robin George Andrews, New York Times, "The Army Bombed a Hawaiian Lava Flow. It Didn’t Work.," 12 Mar. 2020 But by starting with that explosive incident rather than climaxing with it, the narrative has no place to build. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'All Day and a Night': Film Review," 30 Apr. 2020 He is worried some German states are moving too fast, which could lead to an explosive resurgence of the virus. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "How the pandemic made this virologist an unlikely cult figure," 28 Apr. 2020 The suspect was armed with eight firearms, several explosive devices, a helmet and a protective vest. NBC News, "Murder charges filed against German synagogue attack suspect," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tower was the core of an 11-story building that was imploded with explosives on Feb. 16. Time, "The 'Leaning Tower of Dallas' Finally Falls 2 Weeks After Demolition Attempt," 3 Mar. 2020 The tower was the core of an 11-story building that was imploded with explosives on Feb. 16. Houston Chronicle, "After 2 weeks of pounding, Leaning Tower of Dallas is down," 2 Mar. 2020 And in the east, a motorcycle rigged with explosives killed three civilians and wounded seven during a soccer match in Khost Province. New York Times, "U.S. Announces Troop Withdrawal in Afghanistan as Respite From Violence Ends," 2 Mar. 2020 The Cole was attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat filled with explosives while refueling in the port of Aden in Yemen. Nima Elbagir, Yassir Abdallah, And Nada Altaher, CNN, "Sudan will pay $30 million to families of USS Cole attack victims, its leaders say," 13 Feb. 2020 On May 20, 1983, a car packed with explosives was detonated next to the South African Air Force headquarters in Pretoria. Khanya Mtshali, The New Yorker, "The Complex Legacy of Vigilantism in South Africa," 26 Dec. 2019 Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said the service member was killed in Kunduz province, when the insurgents targeted American and Afghan forces with explosives. SFChronicle.com, "Taliban claim attack that killed U.S. soldier in Afghanistan," 23 Dec. 2019 Their brick fortress was now a prison stocked with explosives. Suzanne Sataline, Quartz, "How one fighter made his escape from the worst battle of Hong Kong’s protests," 30 Nov. 2019 Landsea noted that modifying hurricanes with explosives would require a bewildering amount of energy. Fox News, "'Nuke hurricanes': Scientists explain why nuclear bombs and hurricanes don’t mix," 26 Aug. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of explosive

Adjective

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1773, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for explosive

Time Traveler

The first known use of explosive was in 1696

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Statistics for explosive

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Explosive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explosive. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for explosive

explosive

adjective
How to pronounce explosive (audio)

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

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Comments on explosive

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