One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A smokeless explosive made from nitrocellulose, nitroglycerine, and petroleum jelly, used in ammunition.
- ‘Just to starboard is a tangled pile of cordite, a propellant for the shells.’
- ‘The irony is that the German breweries rendered idle by Pasteur's strategy were adapted to manufacture acetone for cordite production.’
- ‘My burst shattered the wall above his head as he took the stairs full tilt; sending wood chips flying, half-deafening me and filling the tiny hallway with the acrid stench of cordite and hot lead.’
- ‘He also coinvented the explosive powder cordite and even worked in collaboration with legendary chemist Pierre Curie.’
- ‘One reader suggested that cordite and other chemicals released in the course of a high-powered conventional assault on the city could not be good for a person.’
- ‘The engine came unglued and the cockpit filled up with smoke and the smell of cordite.’
- ‘And though American males have long been associated with guns, we in Britain tend to forget that women in America are equally seduced by cold steel and cordite.’
- ‘It is thought faulty cordite caused the series of explosions which tore through the ship, raining debris down up to four miles away.’
- ‘In an old box used to transport artillery shells, the soldiers found strips of highly explosive cordite that had been emptied out of artillery shells.’
- ‘People heard the explosion, said they could smell cordite in the air.’
- ‘The allusion to smoke and the smell of cordite after a massive explosion feels clear.’
- ‘I love the smell of burnt feathers and gunpowder and cordite!’
- ‘There are still traces of the Volnay's cargo of munitions scattered about the hold areas: rusting steel warheads, balls of lead shot and sticks of cordite looking like wholemeal spaghetti.’
- ‘Sobrero's substance also found use as a key ingredient in two smokeless powders, ballistic and cordite, from which all modern bullets derive their construction.’
- ‘I could smell grease and cordite and something else now - smoke!’
- ‘The stench of cordite hanging in the air, burning my nostrils.’
- ‘As I found it and stood up, William was standing next to me holding a length of cordite in his right hand, and some fairly evil looking mini-explosives in his left.’
- ‘In the munitions factories, great care was needed not to cause any sparks while making cordite using nitroglycerin - and the workers also needed to be sober.’
- ‘The stench filled the room, overwhelming even the acrid smell of cordite as I walked to the door, raised my rifle and for the first time in my life, I fired a weapon in anger.’
Late 19th century: from cord (because of its string-like appearance) + -ite.
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