One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mixture of finely powdered aluminum and iron oxide that produces a very high temperature on combustion, used in welding and for incendiary bombs.
- ‘From his bulging bag he brought out a small, sleek pipe bomb with a thermite fuse - a home-made grenade - and showed it to the men guarding the house.’
- ‘The story, according to them, was that the man had thrown a thermite grenade into a tent housing 16 of his fellow soldiers.’
- ‘The only alternative we have is to release the hallucinogenic agent before they ignite their thermite.’
- ‘Jenkins showed us one evening just how effective the thermite process of oxidation and reduction could be.’
- ‘‘Yeah, but a container of thermite will do the same thing,’ the engineer retorted.’
- ‘The procedure is identical to that used for welding steel except that a special thermit mixture is required.’
- ‘Early British incendiaries filled with thermite - a mixture of iron oxide and powdered aluminium - produced great heat but this dissipated quickly and was confined to a small area.’
- ‘Other joining processes include thermite welding, laser welding, and electron-beam welding.’
Early 20th century: coined in German from thermo- ‘of heat’ + -ite.
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