- to reduce to powder; pulverize.
- to sprinkle or cover with powder: She powdered the cookies with confectioners' sugar.
- to apply powder to (the face, skin, etc.) as a cosmetic.
- to sprinkle or strew as if with powder: A light snowfall powdered the landscape.
- to ornament in this fashion, as with small objects scattered over a surface: a dress lightly powdered with sequins.
- to use powder as a cosmetic.
- to become pulverized.
Origin of powder1
- British Dialect. to rush.
- British Dialect. a sudden, frantic, or impulsive rush.
- take a powder, Slang. to leave in a hurry; depart without taking leave, as to avoid something unpleasant: He took a powder and left his mother to worry about his gambling debts.Also take a runout powder.
Origin of powder2
Examples from the Web for powder
Other versions are coated in marzipan, or dusted in powder sugar.One Cake to Rule Them All: How Stollen Stole Our Hearts
December 24, 2014
This powder can be shipped anywhere and then reconstituted—just add water, as if it were instant coffee.Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World
December 2, 2014
They say that the Israelis framed him in order to light the powder keg of religious war over the al-Aqsa compound.In Jerusalem Home Demolitions, the Biblical Justice of Revenge
November 25, 2014
Inside the wax floored examining room, I sat up on the powder blue table with my shirt off.I Shot Bin Laden
November 16, 2014
Even Congress passed a law reducing the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.Why Isn’t Prison Justice on the Ballot This Tuesday?
Inimai Chettiar, Abigail Finkelman
November 1, 2014
But, fast as you could move, Scottie, powder drives lead a lot faster.Way of the Lawless
You see, we left the shop in such a hurry we never thought about powder and ball.In the Midst of Alarms
We sunk many guns in the lake; and as for the powder, that had taken care of itself.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Ignoring his wild shouts they crunched to powder all his giant bones.Indian Legends of Vancouver Island
Does the white chief burn his powder in the faces of his brothers?The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
- a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles
- any of various preparations in this form, such as gunpowder, face powder, or soap powder
- fresh loose snow, esp when considered as skiing terrain
- take a powder US and Canadian slang to run away or disappear
- to turn into powder; pulverize
- (tr) to cover or sprinkle with or as if with powder
Word Origin and History for powder
c.1300, "ash, cinders; dust of the earth;" early 14c., "pulverized substance;" mid-14c., "medicinal powder;" late 14c. as "gunpowder," from Old French poudre "dust, powder; ashes; powdered substance" (13c.), earlier pouldre (11c.), from Latin pulverem (nominative pulvis) "dust" (see pollen). Specialized sense "gunpowder" is from late 14c. In the sense "powdered cosmetic," it is recorded from 1570s.
In figurative sense, powder keg is first attested 1855. Powder room, euphemistic for "women's lavatory," is attested from 1936. Earlier it meant "place where gunpowder is stored on a warship" (1620s). Powder horn attested by 1530s. Powder puff first recorded 1704; as a symbol of femaleness or effeminacy, in use from at least 1930s.
Phrase take a powder "scram, vanish," is from 1920; it was a common phrase as a doctor's instruction, so perhaps from the notion of taking a laxative medicine or a sleeping powder, with the result that one has to leave in a hurry (or, on another guess, from a magician's magical powder, which made things disappear). Powder blue (1650s) was smelt used in laundering; as a color name from 1894.
c.1300, "to put powder on;" late 14c., "to make into powder," from Old French poudrer "to pound, crush to powder; strew, scatter," from poudre (see powder (n.)). Related: Powdered; powdering.
- A dry mass of pulverized or finely dispersed solid particles.
- Any of various medicinal or cosmetic preparations in the form of powder.
- A single dose of a powdered drug.
Idioms and Phrases with powder
see keep one's powder dry; sitting on a powder keg; take a powder.