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

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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

Privacy - Terms Defense, defense, defense Giles was said to be an explosive athlete and that showed in his defensive activity. Jason Jones, sacbee, "Harry Giles made his Kings debut during the California Classic. Here's how he fared," 2 July 2018 The dynamic 19-year-old guard from Miami was once a five-star recruit out of Reading (Pennsylvania) High, was one of the most explosive athletes on Thursday’s draft board and — the Spurs hope — is a future NBA star in the making. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs’ new draft pick not just all talk," 23 June 2018 Donte is an explosive athlete, tremendous playmaker and a big-time winner. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DiVincenzo is more than a one-game wonder. Just ask Marquette.," 21 June 2018 Brown gives the Jazz an explosive athlete who can play both shooting guard and small forward. Scott Bordow, azcentral, "NBA mock draft: It's Deandre Ayton No. 1 but all sorts of changes in top 10," 19 June 2018 Big part of the team’s impressive tournament run, and an explosive athlete at 6-foot-6. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "An NBA prospect wonders: Europe or Sacramento?," 19 May 2018 Sophomore Height: 6-6 • Weight: 205 An explosive athlete with good length and strength, Battle’s most glaring issue will be shot selection. Michael Singer, USA TODAY, "2018 NBA mock draft: Suns take Deandre Ayton at No. 1, Kings settle on star Luka Doncic," 16 May 2018 And in addition to homemade bombs, members have also begun discussing trying to find unexploded World War II ordnance to make improvised explosive devices. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 The next day, news broke that an explosive device was mailed to Soros by a person who was later revealed to be a Trump fan with mental illness. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Republican congressman spreads anti-Semitic Soros conspiracy theory with impunity on Fox Business," 6 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

LeBlanc said police searched Mikula’s residence and recovered a .9 mm handgun, Russian rifle, potassium nitrate which is a precursor to making explosives, and a PVC pipe with a hole drilled into it, which is a precursor to fashioning a pipe bomb. Jerome Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "East Boston man ordered held on $200,000 bail on explosive charges after apartment blast," 9 July 2018 Roderick Talley recalled during a news conference how police used explosives to enter his apartment last August in an ultimately unsuccessful search for cocaine. Hannah Grabenstein, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit: Little Rock police lied to conduct drug raids," 15 Oct. 2018 Those that use explosives require larger rocket motors, structures, and control surfaces, making them much less maneuverable. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Lockheed's Drone-Sploding Baby Missile Weighs Just 5 Pounds," 5 May 2018 There were initial fears that the camping van may have been carrying explosives, because of protruding wires. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, "German authorities say driver in fatal van attack had long record of crimes and apparently acted alone," 8 Apr. 2018 The building will feature special doors for police to training using explosives or battering rams. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MATC's Oak Creek campus looking to construct five-story protective services training tower," 29 Jan. 2018 The envoy's arrest in Germany came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car. Matthew Lee, Fox News, "Pompeo presses Europe to get tough on Iran," 13 July 2018 The envoy’s arrest in Germany came after a couple with Iranian roots was stopped in Belgium and authorities reported finding powerful explosives in their car. Matthew Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump says there ‘might be an escalation’ between US, Iran," 12 July 2018 Bombs were found on campus and elsewhere; police are working to find any more explosives in the area. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "What to Know About the Santa Fe High School Shooting Suspect," 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.

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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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Statistics for explosive

Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explosive

The first known use of explosive was in 1696

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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

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Comments on explosive

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