Definition of lyddite in English:



  • [mass noun] A high explosive containing picric acid, used chiefly by the British during the First World War.

    • ‘The divers were able to confirm that the shell, packed with lyddite explosive, was fired either by HMS Swiftsure or HMS Triumph on exercise in the run-up to the Great War.’
    • ‘Picric acid or lyddite, used in the Japanese explosive shimose, and tetryl were also highly sensitive, the latter having a higher shattering effect than TNT.’
    • ‘Benzole cascaded through the torn plating on to the lyddite below, just as the Imro reversed propellor and pulled its bow clear in a shower of sparks.’


Late 19th century: named after Lydd, a town in Kent where the explosive was first tested, + -ite.