[ guhn-pou-der ]
/ ˈgʌnˌpaʊ dər /


an explosive mixture, as of potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal, used in shells and cartridges, in fireworks, for blasting, etc.
Also called gunpowder tea. a fine variety of green China tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a little ball.

Origin of gunpowder

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at gun1, powder1

Related forms

gun·pow·der·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gunpowder

British Dictionary definitions for gunpowder


/ (ˈɡʌnˌpaʊdə) /


an explosive mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulphur (typical proportions are 75:15:10): used in time fuses, blasting, and fireworksAlso called: black powder

Derived Forms

gunpowdery, adjective
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