View synonyms for explosive


[ ik-sploh-siv ]


  1. tending or serving to explode:

    an explosive temper; Nitroglycerin is an explosive substance.

  2. pertaining to or of the nature of an explosion:

    explosive violence.

  3. likely to lead to violence or hostility:

    an explosive issue.

  4. Phonetics. plosive.


  1. an explosive agent or substance, as dynamite.
  2. Phonetics. plosive.


/ ɪkˈspləʊsɪv /


  1. of, involving, or characterized by an explosion or explosions
  2. capable of exploding or tending to explode
  3. potentially violent or hazardous; dangerous

    an explosive situation

  4. phonetics another word for plosive


  1. a substance that decomposes rapidly under certain conditions with the production of gases, which expand by the heat of the reaction. The energy released is used in firearms, blasting, and rocket propulsion
  2. a plosive consonant; stop

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Derived Forms

  • exˈplosiveness, noun
  • exˈplosively, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ex·plosive·ly adverb
  • ex·plosive·ness noun
  • nonex·plosive adjective noun
  • nonex·plosive·ly adverb
  • nonex·plosive·ness noun
  • unex·plosive adjective
  • unex·plosive·ly adverb
  • unex·plosive·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of explosive1

First recorded in 1660–70; explos(ion) + -ive

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Example Sentences

Rage, Bob Woodward’s newest book, was already at the top of Amazon’s bestseller list days before Americans learned about its explosive contents.

From Quartz

That’s according to an explosive new whistleblower complaint released by the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday afternoon.

From Vox

Netflix saw explosive subscriber growth in its first two quarters of this year, mainly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

From Fortune

When an idle shipment of dangerous explosives burst in Beirut, there were Carrds.

Still others have proposed that space became magnetized before all this, during cosmic inflation — the explosive expansion of space that purportedly jump-started the Big Bang itself.

Some of the most explosive opportunities could be based around things that the Western world seems reluctant to adopt.

And it would let governors show leadership in explosive, highly-publicized cases.

As grown-ups without turbo-charged explosive arrows, we can only change the rules through politics.

A Shiite stronghold wrapped in a Sunni explosive belt—not exactly a picture of stability.

That incident was due to an “equipment” problem (a steel tube ruptured)—resulting in explosive vapors being released and ignited.

But he marred it all by a temper so ungovernable that in Paris there was current a byword, "Explosive as Garnache."

With an explosive hiss, gray jets of live steam erupted from pipes around the edge of the room.

Anything made of iron and containing high explosive and detonator will be welcome.

The gasoline used also gave off a gas of highly explosive character and one very likely to escape from leaky tanks or joints.

It is often difficult in serious situations to take these explosive monosyllables seriously.





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