high explosive

noun

Definition of high explosive

: an explosive (such as TNT) that generates gas with extreme rapidity and has a shattering effect

Examples of high explosive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Phalanx uses an armor-piercing tungsten shell, while C-RAM uses high explosive incendiary rounds to destroy enemy projectiles in midair. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch This Gatling Gun Engage Rockets Over Baghdad," 22 Dec. 2020 Unlike missiles, whose high explosive warheads deliver a lot of energy in a single devastating explosion, a laser projects a steady stream of concentrated light that heats the target until something fails or explodes. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Putting Death Rays on Fighter Jets. Yes, Death Rays.," 11 Nov. 2020 The missile does not carry a high explosive warhead greatly reducing collateral damage and killing innocent civilians. Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News, "US drone strike kills 2 senior Al Qaeda operatives in Syria," 16 Oct. 2020 The warhead is designed to slam into a warship at blisteringly fast speed, then detonate a high explosive or even nuclear warhead deep in the bowels of the ship. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "In Warning to America, China Tests Carrier-Killer Missiles," 26 Aug. 2020 During the three years of the Korean War, US aircraft dropped 635,000 tons of bombs -- both high explosive and incendiary -- on North Korea. Brad Lendon, CNN, "The US Army once ruled Pyongyang and 5 other things you might not know about the Korean War," 24 June 2020 The new cruise missile is designed to go after targets on land as a very long distance precision strike weapon with both high explosive or nuclear warhead capability. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Russia Designing Cruise Missiles with 3,000 Mile Range," 8 Jan. 2019 While the Army probably won’t use quadcopters to deliver shells any time soon—each M107 155-millimeter high explosive shell weighs 94 pounds—a low-profile, cabless truck would be perfect for the job. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Hauling Artillery Is Boring and Dangerous, so the Army Is Bringing In the Robots," 28 Jan. 2020 The bombs found Monday night contained a total of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of high explosives and shrapnel, according to Alick McWhirter, a senior bomb disposal officer with the Hong Kong Police Department's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD). Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Hong Kong police say they found two bombs meant to 'kill and to maim people'," 10 Dec. 2019

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

1877, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about high explosive

Time Traveler for high explosive

Time Traveler

The first known use of high explosive was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Statistics for high explosive

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“High explosive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/high%20explosive. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on high explosive

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about high explosive

Comments on high explosive

What made you want to look up high explosive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!