• synonyms

hand grenade

  1. a grenade or explosive shell that is thrown by hand and exploded either by impact or by means of a fuze.
  2. a grenade or glass missile containing a chemical, for extinguishing fire.
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Origin of hand grenade

First recorded in 1655–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hand-grenade

Historical Examples of hand-grenade

  • "Pouches," perhaps a survival of the days of the hand-grenade.

    Poems of American History


  • One night, a hand-grenade fell out of the pocket of one of the wounded.

  • What was visible of the face looked as if at some period it had stopped a hand-grenade.

    The Red One

    Jack London

  • He himself was wounded in the leg by the splinter of a hand-grenade.

  • But playing around with Louis Akers is like playing with a hand-grenade, Edith.

    A Poor Wise Man

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for hand-grenade

hand grenade

  1. a small metal or plastic canister containing explosives, usually activated by a short fuse and used in close combat
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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 hand-grenade


1660s, from hand (n.) + grenade, which at that time referred to any explosive missile.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper