• synonyms

touch paper

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

Origin of touch paper

First recorded in 1740–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for touchpaper

Historical Examples

  • He then placed the touchpaper on an old cambric handkerchief.

    Travels in North America, From Modern Writers

    William Bingley

  • If a roman candle is intended to be fired singly, twist a piece of touchpaper round the mouth.

  • After lighting the touchpaper, remove to a distance; as bits of string are likely to get driven into the face, on the explosion.

British Dictionary definitions for touchpaper


  1. paper soaked in saltpetre and used for firing gunpowder
  2. light the touchpaper or light the blue touchpaper to do something that will cause much anger or excitement
Show More
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