smokeless powder


: any of a class of explosive propellants that produce comparatively little smoke on explosion and consist mostly of gelatinized nitrocellulose

Examples of smokeless powder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web By the 1920s, shotshells were predominately loaded with smokeless powder, and shooters saw the benefits of smaller gauge shotguns. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, 28 Mar. 2024 Most modern firearms and other weapons used by soldiers and civilians alike rely on smokeless powder to propel a bullet to its target. John Ismay, New York Times, 23 June 2023 On two separate occasions last year, railroad cars carrying tens of thousands of kilograms of smokeless powder — enough propellant to collectively make at least 80 million rounds of ammunition — rumbled across the China-Russia border at the remote town of Zabaykalsk. John Ismay, New York Times, 23 June 2023 The girlfriend was among the last government witnesses to testify for the prosecution, which rested its case Wednesday morning following testimony from FBI forensic examiners about materials found in Croft's home, including smokeless powder and explosive targets. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 30 Mar. 2022 Nobel later invented a more powerful form of dynamite and a smokeless powder used in firearms and artillery. Marylou Tousignant, Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2022 About 50 cans of black or smokeless powder were found in the workspace around the pipe, according to court records. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 22 July 2021 That round burned the then new smokeless powder to push a 112-grain round nose bullet 2,560 fps. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, 12 Mar. 2021 Once smokeless powder came on the scene, the NE cartridges all got a performance boost. John B. Snow, Field & Stream, 8 Mar. 2021

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

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of smokeless powder was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near smokeless powder

Cite this Entry

“Smokeless powder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on smokeless powder

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!