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gunpowder

[guhn-pou-der]
noun
  1. an explosive mixture, as of potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal, used in shells and cartridges, in fireworks, for blasting, etc.
  2. Also called gunpowder tea. a fine variety of green China tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a little ball.
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Origin of gunpowder

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at gun1, powder1
Related formsgun·pow·der·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for gunpowder tea

gunpowder tea

noun
  1. a fine variety of green tea, each leaf of which is rolled into a pellet
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gunpowder

noun
  1. 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
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Derived Formsgunpowdery, 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

Word Origin and History for gunpowder tea

gunpowder

n.

early 15c., from gun (n.) + powder (n.). The Gunpowder Plot was the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605, while the King, Lords and Commons were assembled there.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper