One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A high explosive containing picric acid, used chiefly by the British during the First World 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.’
- ‘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.’
Late 19th century: named after Lydd, a town in Kent where the explosive was first tested, + -ite.
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