tending or serving to explode: an explosive temper; Nitroglycerin is an explosive substance.
pertaining to or of the nature of an explosion: explosive violence.
likely to lead to violence or hostility: an explosive issue.
Phonetics. plosive.


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

Origin of explosive

First recorded in 1660–70; explos(ion) + -ive
Related formsex·plo·sive·ly, adverbex·plo·sive·ness, nounnon·ex·plo·sive, adjective, nounnon·ex·plo·sive·ly, adverbnon·ex·plo·sive·ness, nounun·ex·plo·sive, adjectiveun·ex·plo·sive·ly, adverbun·ex·plo·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for explosiveness


Examples from the Web for explosiveness

Contemporary Examples of explosiveness

Historical Examples of explosiveness

  • You need not be too sweet to him, but beware of explosiveness.

    Vittoria, Complete

    George Meredith

  • The constitution of gunpowder is the cause of its explosiveness.

  • The quiet voice ripped abruptly into an explosiveness under which some of them cowered as under a lash.

    The Roof Tree

    Charles Neville Buck

  • So she said to herself many a day, and yet the great deed, in all its explosiveness, had never yet been done.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope

  • The last mentioned give rise to her explosiveness, withering sarcasm, and anger.

British Dictionary definitions for explosiveness



of, involving, or characterized by an explosion or explosions
capable of exploding or tending to explode
potentially violent or hazardous; dangerousan explosive situation
phonetics another word for plosive


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
a plosive consonant; stop
Derived Formsexplosively, adverbexplosiveness, noun
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 explosiveness



1660s, "tending to explode," from Latin explos- (past participle stem of explodere; see explosion) + -ive. As a noun, from 1874. Related: Explosives.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper