gun·​cot·​ton ˈgən-ˌkä-tᵊn How to pronounce guncotton (audio)
: nitrocellulose
especially : an explosive highly nitrated product used chiefly in smokeless powder

Examples of guncotton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nitrocellulose, also known as guncotton, is highly flammable. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 When one of them is struck the glass receptacle is broken and the acids, flowing into a chamber containing chemicals, set up an action that explodes the guncotton. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 8 Apr. 2021 This fires the detonating charge, which in turn fires the main charge of guncotton. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 8 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guncotton.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1846, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of guncotton was in 1846

Dictionary Entries Near guncotton

Cite this Entry

“Guncotton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


gun·​cot·​ton ˈgən-ˌkät-ᵊn How to pronounce guncotton (audio)
: any of various cellulose nitrates
especially : an explosive consisting of a higher-nitrated product (as one containing at least 13.2 percent nitrogen)

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