Definition of nitrocellulose in US English:



  • A highly flammable material made by treating cellulose with concentrated nitric acid, used to make explosives and celluloid.

    Also called cellulose nitrate
    • ‘Nitroglycerin can also be used in conjunction with gun cotton or nitrocellulose as a propellant in military applications.’
    • ‘Nitrogen is an important component of common chemical explosives like TNT, nitroglycerin, gunpowder, guncotton, nitrocellulose, picric acid, and ammonium nitrate.’
    • ‘This type of powder was created by dissolving nitrocellulose in ethyl acetate, and forming the round grains under water - much like the oil droplets formed when one shakes vegetable oil and vinegar to make salad dressing.’
    • ‘However, we're talking about a very energetic material composed, usually, of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine.’
    • ‘Esters also are used as organic solvents particularly for paints, varnishes, and nitrocellulose.’