touch paper

|

noun

paper saturated with potassium nitrate to make it burn slowly, used for igniting explosives and fireworks.

Origin of touch paper

First recorded in 1740–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for touch paper

Historical Examples of touch paper

  • The appearance of the rocket is shown at fig. 36; the dotted line round the mouth shows the touch-paper.

  • The match is lit at t; but this may have a long bit of touch-paper attached to it, if preferred.

  • William made some touch-paper, which he lighted with one of the glasses from the telescope, and they soon had a good fire.

    Masterman Ready

    Captain Frederick Marryat

  • Thus, if the ashes of a cigar be well rubbed into a bit of paper, they convert it into touch-paper.

    The Art of Travel

    Francis Galton

  • Lighting the touch-paper in his tobacco-box, he passed it over the body of the hound which had attacked me, and then of the other.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle