[ pou-der ]
See synonyms for: powderpowderedpowdering on Thesaurus.com

  1. any solid substance reduced to a state of fine, loose particles by crushing, grinding, disintegration, etc.

  2. a preparation in this form, as gunpowder or face powder.

  1. Also powder snow .Skiing. loose, usually fresh snow that is not granular, wet, or packed.

verb (used with object)
  1. to reduce to powder; pulverize.

  2. to sprinkle or cover with powder: She powdered the cookies with confectioners' sugar.

  1. to apply powder to (the face, skin, etc.) as a cosmetic.

  2. to sprinkle or strew as if with powder: A light snowfall powdered the landscape.

  3. to ornament in this fashion, as with small objects scattered over a surface: a dress lightly powdered with sequins.

verb (used without object)
  1. to use powder as a cosmetic.

  2. to become pulverized.

Origin of powder

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English noun poudre, pouder, from Old French poudre, pouldre, from Latin pulver- (stem of pulvis ) “dust, powder”; akin to pollen; the verb is derivative of the noun

Other words from powder

  • pow·der·er, noun

Words Nearby powder

Other definitions for powder (2 of 2)

[ pou-der ]

verb (used without object)
  1. British Dialect. to rush.

  1. British Dialect. a sudden, frantic, or impulsive rush.

Origin of powder

First recorded in 1625–35; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use powder in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for powder


/ (ˈpaʊdə) /

  1. a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles

  2. any of various preparations in this form, such as gunpowder, face powder, or soap powder

  1. fresh loose snow, esp when considered as skiing terrain

  2. take a powder US and Canadian slang to run away or disappear

  1. to turn into powder; pulverize

  2. (tr) to cover or sprinkle with or as if with powder

Origin of powder

C13: from Old French poldre, from Latin pulvis dust

Derived forms of powder

  • powderer, noun
  • powdery, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with powder


see keep one's powder dry; sitting on a powder keg; take a powder.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.