ni·​tro·​cel·​lu·​lose | \ ˌnī-trō-ˈsel-yə-ˌlōs How to pronounce nitrocellulose (audio) , -ˌlōz \

Definition of nitrocellulose

: any of several nitric-acid esters of cellulose used especially for making explosives, plastics, and varnishes

Examples of nitrocellulose in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For each explosion, the pyrotechnist produced a custom thermite mix from his extensive chemical library, wrapped it in nitrocellulose (flash paper), suspended it from a wire, and lit the fuse. Wired, "Distant Galaxies? The Death Star? Nope, These Are Explosions," 31 Oct. 2019 The original version was filmed between five and six frames per second on celluloid, a plastic material derived from camphor and nitrocellulose, and the entire film was digitized at nine frames per second to produce a higher quality picture. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "See the Oldest Known Footage of a Solar Eclipse," 3 June 2019 Zamyatin had left socialist pamphlets under his bed and nitrocellulose, an explosive, on his windowsill (alongside his staples of sugar and salami). The Economist, "An eerie dystopian prophecy by a disillusioned Bolshevik," 31 May 2018 The criminal complaint says investigators found a letter, a fuse, a GPS device and a half-ounce vial containing black powder that tested positive for the flammable compound nitrocellulose in the package that arrived in Baltimore., "FBI makes arrest connected to suspicious packages sent to federal buildings," 28 Mar. 2018 The chemical, nitrocellulose, is used in nail polish and lacquer. Javier C. HernÁndez, New York Times, "Tianjin, a Port in China, Is Rocked by Explosions That Killed Dozens AUG. 12, 2015," 5 Feb. 2016 Rui Hai was storing more than 11,000 tons of hazardous goods at its warehouse before the disaster, including more than 200 tons of nitrocellulose and 800 tons of ammonium nitrate, far in excess of what was allowed, the investigation found. Javier C. HernÁndez, New York Times, "Tianjin, a Port in China, Is Rocked by Explosions That Killed Dozens AUG. 12, 2015," 5 Feb. 2016

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

1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nitrocellulose

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The first known use of nitrocellulose was in 1868

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Cite this Entry

“Nitrocellulose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for nitrocellulose


ni·​tro·​cel·​lu·​lose | \ -ˈsel-yə-ˌlōs, -ˌlōz How to pronounce nitrocellulose (audio) \

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