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 Each Mark 48 carries 650 pounds of high explosives and is about as long and as heavy as a Toyota pickup truck. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, 5 Apr. 2023 Send them stealth bombers, high explosives, send in Seal teams and the tanks. Amanda Morris, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2023 Deep below the Nevada desert, a machine dubbed Scorpius is under construction that will use high explosives to crush plutonium to states that exist just prior to a nuclear explosion. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Oct. 2023 Scientists have used bees to sniff out chemicals associated with cancer and with diabetes on patients’ breath and to detect the presence of high explosives. Stephen Buchmann, The Conversation, 17 May 2023 The bombs themselves were a varying combination of thermite devices, high explosives, and shrapnel. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Feb. 2023 Speculation about the cause in the wake of the boom covered everything from an earthquake (no, according to the U.S. Geological Survey), possible high explosive munitions training at Camp Pendleton (maybe, marine official said), golfer Phil Mickelson testing out some new gear. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 June 2021 In that same amount of time, a high explosive shell could land, shattering windows, maiming customers or demolishing his snack stand in a neighborhood increasingly bombarded by Russian artillery. Natalia Yermak Tyler Hicks, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2022 Unlike a traditional composite propellant, which mechanically mixes a fuel and an oxidizer into a high explosive, the new propellant ignites an energetic fuel—really a low explosive. Bryce Tappan, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'high explosive.' 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

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of high explosive was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near high explosive

Cite this Entry

“High explosive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/high%20explosive. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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