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high explosive

a class of explosive, as TNT, in which the reaction is so rapid as to be practically instantaneous, used in shells and bombs.
Origin of high explosive
First recorded in 1875-80
Related forms
high-explosive, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for high explosive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What the Turks want is a gift, not of ground but of high explosive shell.

  • That high explosive shell had obviously not come from the fort; where, then, had it come from?

    A Chinese Command Harry Collingwood
  • Into that softness he had come with a high explosive and an aim.

    Young Hilda at the Wars

    Arthur Gleason
  • Smokeless gunpowder is actually but a modified form of high explosive.

    Dynamite Stories Hudson Maxim
  • The production of high explosive in 1914 was almost negligible.

    G. H. Q. Frank Fox
  • The main charge is some high explosive, usually of the dynamite type.

    Average Jones Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • Shells of all calibers, high explosive and gas, came down in droves.

    Triplanetary Edward Elmer Smith
  • The wood was raked with more than 5,000 high explosive and gas shells.

  • In its place he put his precious packet, which was a charge of high explosive.

    'Green Balls' Paul Bewsher
British Dictionary definitions for high explosive

high explosive

an extremely powerful chemical explosive, such as TNT or gelignite
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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