verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to use powder as a cosmetic.
to become pulverized.

Nearby words

  1. povidone-iodine,
  2. pow,
  3. powan,
  4. powassan encephalitis,
  5. poway,
  6. powder blue,
  7. powder boy,
  8. powder burn,
  9. powder charge,
  10. powder chest

Origin of powder

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English poudre < Old French < Latin pulver- (stem of pulvis) dust, powder; akin to pollen; (v.) Middle English poudren < Old French poudrer, derivative of poudre

Related formspow·der·er, noun



verb (used without object)

British Dialect. to rush.


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. 2019

Examples from the Web for powder

British Dictionary definitions for powder



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
Derived Formspowderer, nounpowdery, adjective

Word Origin for powder

C13: from Old French poldre, from Latin pulvis dust

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 powder
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for powder




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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.