One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An explosive consisting of a powdered mixture of saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal, now chiefly used for quarry blasting and in fuses and fireworks.
- ‘Prior to its first military uses, gunpowder was termed black powder.’
- ‘Charcoal was also essential for the manufacture of gunpowder.’
- ‘This incident was particularly severe because of the huge amount of gunpowder in the firework.’
- ‘In the early days of quarrying, one-foot holes were made and whole kegs of gunpowder used in blasting.’
- ‘The cellar was searched and, hidden amid the large quantity of firewood stored there, 36 barrels of gunpowder were found, along with fuses.’
- ‘Propellants such as gunpowder are so-called low explosives that burn but do not normally detonate.’
- ‘There was wax, matches, a long fuse, gunpowder and 20 bullets packed around a quarter stick of dynamite.’
- ‘The group said it will begin tests in May using land mines without gunpowder.’
- ‘Undercover officers rushed in only to find talcum powder and not gunpowder on the agenda.’
- ‘As her daughter tripped on a mop and dropped a box of glass dishes, the burnt end of that fuse collided with the gunpowder.’
- ‘Cannons, guns, gunpowder, swords and many other weapons of war were needed and Spain bought them from whoever would sell to them.’
- ‘Just as castle walls gave way to gunpowder and the cannon, so too will present technology give way to new ideas and new tools of war.’
- ‘That way the hard barrel compresses the relatively soft metal of the bullet as the exploding gunpowder hurls the projectile down the barrel.’
- ‘The youngest sailors would also have had a ‘fireman’ role, damping down loose gunpowder to prevent explosions.’
- ‘Gunpowder is a mixture of saltpetre, charcoal, and sulphur, and early gunpowder was just that: a powder.’
- ‘But the mere possession of a lot of cannon and gunpowder, or air-to-surface missiles, is not enough.’
- ‘He has a musket, bullets, gunpowder, carpentry tools, clothes, bedding and a Bible.’
- ‘Early grenades were like cartoon bombs: an iron sphere packed with gunpowder and a fuse sticking out of the top.’
- ‘It was also used in the past to produce charcoal for gunpowder.’
- ‘The shells contain silver iodide, explosives and gunpowder.’
2A fine green China tea of granular appearance.
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