- 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
Also called pyrocellulose.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cordite
By now the air in the room was awful, hanging with the smell of cordite, lit only by the muzzle flashes.Navy Seal Training: The Start of Hell Week
Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
May 8, 2011
At twenty-five yards or a little under, the cordite rang out.The Pools of Silence
H. de Vere Stacpoole
Sergeant Mayes picked up a charge of cordite and threw it away.The British Navy Book
The powder thus obtained was cordite, and this they recommended for adoption.Inventors at Work
The three were armed with Government 303 rifles, while I had my cordite rifle.Life in an Indian Outpost
Cordite: the principal smokeless powder of the British Empire.The New Gresham Encyclopedia
- any of various explosive materials used for propelling bullets, shells, etc, containing cellulose nitrate, sometimes mixed with nitroglycerine, plasticizers, and stabilizers
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
Word Origin and History for cordite
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.