gunpowder

noun
gun·​pow·​der | \ ˈgən-ˌpau̇-dər How to pronounce gunpowder (audio) \

Definition of gunpowder

: an explosive mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur used in gunnery and blasting broadly : any of various powders used in guns as propelling charges

Examples of gunpowder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Steel projectiles, gunpowder and lots and lots of beer. Lucy Sherriff, CNN, 8 Sep. 2021 But Kennedy was shot four times at point-blank range from behind, one shot passing through his jacket and not striking him, with the fatal shot fired so close there was gunpowder on Kennedy’s hair, the coroner Thomas Noguchi found. Tom Jackman, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Aug. 2021 At various points, imposing iron cauldrons once used in gunpowder manufacturing rest on walls cloaked in vegetation. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 The company’s soldiers had kept their gunpowder dry under tarpaulin and emerged from the muddy riverbank to win a decisive victory. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 In 1890, its magazine, with 100,000 pounds of gunpowder, blew up. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 Only a few years before the explosive violence at the gunpowder plant, another deadly occurrence started at the DuPont train station. Paul Eisenberg, chicagotribune.com, 15 Aug. 2021 No latex paint, batteries, explosives, propane tanks, gunpowder, ammunition, flares, medical waste, pharmaceuticals, medicine, radioactive waste (smoke detectors), mercury vapor light bulbs or appliances will be accepted. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 6 Aug. 2021 That's because railguns use electricity instead of gunpowder, or jet or rocket engines, to accelerate a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound. David Sharp, Chron, 1 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gunpowder.' 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 gunpowder

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About gunpowder

Time Traveler for gunpowder

Time Traveler

The first known use of gunpowder was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near gunpowder

gunport

gunpowder

gunpowder hammer

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gunpowder

Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gunpowder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gunpowder. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gunpowder

gunpowder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gunpowder

: a dry explosive substance that is used in guns and to break open sections of rock or earth for mining, building roads, etc.

gunpowder

noun
gun·​pow·​der | \ ˈgən-ˌpau̇-dər How to pronounce gunpowder (audio) \

Kids Definition of gunpowder

: an explosive powder used in guns and blasting

More from Merriam-Webster on gunpowder

Nglish: Translation of gunpowder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gunpowder for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gunpowder

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!