cordite

[kawr-dahyt]
noun
a smokeless, slow-burning powder composed of 30 to 58 percent nitroglycerin, 37 to 65 percent cellulose nitrate, and 5 to 6 percent mineral jelly.
Also called pyrocellulose.


Origin:
1885–90; cord + -ite1, so called from its cordlike form

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World English Dictionary
cordite (ˈkɔːdaɪt)
 
n
any of various explosive materials used for propelling bullets, shells, etc, containing cellulose nitrate, sometimes mixed with nitroglycerine, plasticizers, and stabilizers
 
[C19: from cord + -ite1, referring to its stringy appearance]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cordite
smokeless explosive," 1889, from cord; so called for its "curiously string-like appearance" in the words of a newspaper of the day.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cordite   (kôr'dīt')  Pronunciation Key 
An explosive powder consisting of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and petroleum jelly, used as a propellant for guns. It does not generate smoke and is shaped into cords.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
People wonder why the trees are turning yellow,accompanied by acrid fumes of cordite.
The bitter tang of cordite and blood mingles in his mouth.
The air smelled of cordite, dust, and burned rubber.
Cordite was also used for large weapons, such as tank guns, artillery and naval guns.
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