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[guhn-pou-der] /ˈgʌnˌpaʊ dər/
an explosive mixture, as of potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal, used in shells and cartridges, in fireworks, for blasting, etc.
Also called gunpowder tea. a fine variety of green China tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a little ball.
Origin of gunpowder
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425; See origin at gun1, powder1
Related forms
gunpowdery, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gunpowder tea
Historical Examples
  • There is grandfather's farm where the 'gunpowder tea' party was held that I told you of.

    Doctor Jones' Picnic S. E. Chapman
  • gunpowder tea is only Hyson rolled and rounded, to give it the granular appearance whence it derives its name.

British Dictionary definitions for gunpowder tea

gunpowder tea

a fine variety of green tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a pellet


an explosive mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulphur (typical proportions are 75:15:10): used in time fuses, blasting, and fireworks Also called black powder
Derived Forms
gunpowdery, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gunpowder tea



early 15c., from gun (n.) + powder (n.). The Gunpowder Plot was the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605, while the King, Lords and Commons were assembled there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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