[ kawr-dahyt ]
/ ˈkɔr daɪt /


a smokeless, slow-burning powder composed of 30 to 58 percent nitroglycerin, 37 to 65 percent cellulose nitrate, and 5 to 6 percent mineral jelly.

Origin of cordite

1885–90; cord + -ite1, so called from its cordlike form
Also called pyrocellulose. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for cordite

British Dictionary definitions for cordite

/ (ˈkɔːdaɪt) /


any of various explosive materials used for propelling bullets, shells, etc, containing cellulose nitrate, sometimes mixed with nitroglycerine, plasticizers, and stabilizers

Word Origin for cordite

C19: from cord + -ite 1, referring to its stringy appearance
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

Scientific definitions for cordite

[ kôrdīt′ ]

An explosive powder consisting of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and petroleum jelly, used as a propellant for guns. It does not generate smoke and is shaped into cords.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.