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explosive

[ik-sploh-siv] /ɪkˈsploʊ sɪv/
adjective
1.
tending or serving to explode:
an explosive temper; Nitroglycerin is an explosive substance.
2.
pertaining to or of the nature of an explosion:
explosive violence.
3.
likely to lead to violence or hostility:
an explosive issue.
4.
Phonetics, plosive.
noun
5.
an explosive agent or substance, as dynamite.
6.
Phonetics, plosive.
Origin of explosive
1660-1670
1660-70; explos(ion) + -ive
Related forms
explosively, adverb
explosiveness, noun
nonexplosive, adjective, noun
nonexplosively, adverb
nonexplosiveness, noun
unexplosive, adjective
unexplosively, adverb
unexplosiveness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for explosive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In a few minutes they were startled by an explosive “Caramba!”

    The Gilded Man Clifford Smyth
  • Urquhart was a man of explosive action and had great reserve of strength.

    Love and Lucy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • The sound may be continued so long as the breath lasts; but in the case of mutes the sound must stop with the explosive utterance.

    Orthography Elmer W. Cavins
  • I gauged our movement, and dropped an explosive powder bomb.

  • Adam knew of the explosive works in progress regarding the well-hole, but the matter had been kept from his wife.

British Dictionary definitions for explosive

explosive

/ɪkˈspləʊsɪv/
adjective
1.
of, involving, or characterized by an explosion or explosions
2.
capable of exploding or tending to explode
3.
potentially violent or hazardous; dangerous: an explosive situation
4.
(phonetics) another word for plosive
noun
5.
a substance that decomposes rapidly under certain conditions with the production of gases, which expand by the heat of the reaction. The energy released is used in firearms, blasting, and rocket propulsion
6.
a plosive consonant; stop
Derived Forms
explosively, adverb
explosiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for explosive
adj.

1660s, "tending to explode," from Latin explos- (past participle stem of explodere; see explosion) + -ive. As a noun, from 1874. Related: Explosives.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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21
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