ther·​mite ˈthər-ˌmīt How to pronounce thermite (audio)
: a mixture of aluminum powder and a metal oxide (such as iron oxide) that when ignited evolves a great deal of heat and is used in welding and in incendiary bombs

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The tiny projectiles were reported to have left the Earth-Moon system after their thermite fuel discharged and shot toward parts unknown. John Wenz, Discover Magazine, 24 July 2018 This is a game as much about being able to think clearly under pressure as anything else, but it’s also about knowing where to lay down a thermite or gas grenade, whether or not to equip a Stim, and when to slide in fast or take a corner slow. Erik Kain, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2021 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, 31 Oct. 2019 In the future, the photographer plans to test out more exotic thermites like bismuth trioxide and manganese dioxide. Wired, 31 Oct. 2019 Homemade thermite can destroy washing machines or make a hole in a frozen lake. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 13 Apr. 2018 Hari also allegedly stored a copy of the Anarchist's Handbook, which includes instructions for creating the thermite used in the pipe bombs. Anchorage Daily News, 14 Mar. 2018 Ukraine's intelligence service believes that Russian drones are bombing the country's ammo dumps with thermite grenades. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 27 Sep. 2017 In December 2015, drones dropped 14 thermite grenades on the Balakliya ammo dump but Ukrainian soldiers extinguished the grenades before a catastrophe occurred. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 27 Sep. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thermite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


therm- + -ite entry 1

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of thermite was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near thermite

Cite this Entry

“Thermite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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