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powder2

[pou-der]
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verb (used without object)
  1. British Dialect. to rush.
noun
  1. British Dialect. a sudden, frantic, or impulsive rush.
Idioms
  1. take a powder, Slang. to leave in a hurry; depart without taking leave, as to avoid something unpleasant: He took a powder and left his mother to worry about his gambling debts.Also take a runout powder.

Origin of powder2

First recorded in 1625–35; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for take a powder

powder

noun
  1. a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles
  2. any of various preparations in this form, such as gunpowder, face powder, or soap powder
  3. fresh loose snow, esp when considered as skiing terrain
  4. take a powder US and Canadian slang to run away or disappear
verb
  1. to turn into powder; pulverize
  2. (tr) to cover or sprinkle with or as if with powder
Derived Formspowderer, nounpowdery, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French poldre, from Latin pulvis dust
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

Word Origin and History for take a powder

powder

n.

c.1300, "ash, cinders; dust of the earth;" early 14c., "pulverized substance;" mid-14c., "medicinal powder;" late 14c. as "gunpowder," from Old French poudre "dust, powder; ashes; powdered substance" (13c.), earlier pouldre (11c.), from Latin pulverem (nominative pulvis) "dust" (see pollen). Specialized sense "gunpowder" is from late 14c. In the sense "powdered cosmetic," it is recorded from 1570s.

In figurative sense, powder keg is first attested 1855. Powder room, euphemistic for "women's lavatory," is attested from 1936. Earlier it meant "place where gunpowder is stored on a warship" (1620s). Powder horn attested by 1530s. Powder puff first recorded 1704; as a symbol of femaleness or effeminacy, in use from at least 1930s.

Phrase take a powder "scram, vanish," is from 1920; it was a common phrase as a doctor's instruction, so perhaps from the notion of taking a laxative medicine or a sleeping powder, with the result that one has to leave in a hurry (or, on another guess, from a magician's magical powder, which made things disappear). Powder blue (1650s) was smelt used in laundering; as a color name from 1894.

powder

v.

c.1300, "to put powder on;" late 14c., "to make into powder," from Old French poudrer "to pound, crush to powder; strew, scatter," from poudre (see powder (n.)). Related: Powdered; powdering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

take a powder in Medicine

powder

([object Object])
n.
  1. A dry mass of pulverized or finely dispersed solid particles.
  2. Any of various medicinal or cosmetic preparations in the form of powder.
  3. A single dose of a powdered drug.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

take a powder in Culture

take a powder

To make a quick departure: “When he saw the police coming, the thief decided to take a powder.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with take a powder

take a powder

Make a speedy departure, run away, as in I looked around and he was gone—he'd taken a powder. This slangy idiom may be derived from the British dialect sense of powder as “a sudden hurry,” a usage dating from about 1600. It may also allude to the explosive quality of gunpowder.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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