"small explosive shell," 1591, from M.Fr. grenade "pomegranate," from O.Fr. pomegrenate (infl. by Sp. granada), so called because the many-seeded fruit suggested the powder-filled, fragmenting bomb, or from similarities of shape. Grenadiers (1676) originally were soldiers "who were dexterous in flinging hand-granados" [Evelyn], from Fr. grenadier; later "the tallest and finest men in the regiment."