What does explosive mean?

Definitions for explosive
ɪkˈsploʊ sɪvex·plo·sive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word explosive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. explosiveadjective

    a chemical substance that undergoes a rapid chemical change (with the production of gas) on being heated or struck

  2. explosiveadjective

    serving to explode or characterized by explosion or sudden outburst

    "an explosive device"; "explosive gas"; "explosive force"; "explosive violence"; "an explosive temper"

  3. explosive, volatileadjective

    liable to lead to sudden change or violence

    "an explosive issue"; "a volatile situation with troops and rioters eager for a confrontation"

  4. explosiveadjective

    sudden and loud

    "an explosive laugh"


  1. Explosivenoun

    An explosive agent; a compound or mixture susceptible of a rapid chemical reaction, as gunpowder, TNT, dynamite, or nitro-glycerine.


  1. explosivenoun

    Explosive substance.

  2. explosiveadjective

    With the capability to, or likely to, explode.

  3. explosiveadjective

    Having the character of an explosion.

    explosive fire

  4. explosiveadjective

    Easily driven to anger, usually with reference to a person.

    He has an explosive personality.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Explosiveadjective

    Driving out with noise and violence.

    Etymology: from explode.

    These minerals constitute in the earth a kind of natural gunpowder, which takes fire; and by the assistance of its explosive power, renders the shock greater. John Woodward, N. Hist.


  1. Explosive

    An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion if released suddenly, usually accompanied by the production of light, heat, sound, and pressure. An explosive charge is a measured quantity of explosive material, which may either be composed solely of one ingredient or be a mixture containing at least two substances. The potential energy stored in an explosive material may, for example, be chemical energy, such as nitroglycerin or grain dust pressurized gas, such as a gas cylinder, aerosol can, or BLEVE nuclear energy, such as in the fissile isotopes uranium-235 and plutonium-239Explosive materials may be categorized by the speed at which they expand. Materials that detonate (the front of the chemical reaction moves faster through the material than the speed of sound) are said to be "high explosives" and materials that deflagrate are said to be "low explosives". Explosives may also be categorized by their sensitivity. Sensitive materials that can be initiated by a relatively small amount of heat or pressure are primary explosives and materials that are relatively insensitive are secondary or tertiary explosives. A wide variety of chemicals can explode; a smaller number are manufactured specifically for the purpose of being used as explosives. The remainder are too dangerous, sensitive, toxic, expensive, unstable, or prone to decomposition or degradation over short time spans. In contrast, some materials are merely combustible or flammable if they burn without exploding. The distinction, however, is not razor-sharp. Certain materials—dusts, powders, gases, or volatile organic liquids—may be simply combustible or flammable under ordinary conditions, but become explosive in specific situations or forms, such as dispersed airborne clouds, or confinement or sudden release.


  1. explosive

    An explosive is a substance or device that can cause a sudden release of energy, often in the form of a violent burst, due to a rapid chemical or nuclear reaction. This reaction generates heat, light, sound, pressure, and a shock wave, often causing destruction to its surroundings. This term can also be used to describe something potentially harmful or dangerous, or likely to cause sudden, uncontrollable changes or reactions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Explosiveadjective

    driving or bursting out with violence and noise; causing explosion; as, the explosive force of gunpowder

  2. Explosivenoun

    an explosive agent; a compound or mixture susceptible of a rapid chemical reaction, as gunpowder, or nitro-glycerine

  3. Explosivenoun

    a sound produced by an explosive impulse of the breath; (Phonetics) one of consonants p, b, t, d, k, g, which are sounded with a sort of explosive power of voice. [See Guide to Pronunciation, Ã 155-7, 184.]

  4. Etymology: [Cf. F. explosif.]

How to pronounce explosive?

How to say explosive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of explosive in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of explosive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of explosive in a Sentence

  1. National Police spokesman Prawut Thavonsiri:

    This is the point where he met with the yellow shirt to swap the rucksack ... the rucksack he was carrying was heavy and (inside) it was explosive material.

  2. Mark Davis:

    I don't think there's racial animosity here, this lacks the elements that made Ferguson explosive.

  3. Golan Heights:

    Four terrorists placed an explosive on a fence near Majdel Shams and an Israeli aircraft shot and killed them.

  4. Christina Johns:

    We are starting to see a slow and steady trickle of an increase of cases. And why is that ? Well, because this is the time of year when we typically start to see influenza begin to circulate, but why aren't we seeing the explosive uptick ? One reason is that school-aged children are still largely masked in many school districts, and so I think that that helps to keep numbers down. The overall layered protective measures that are still in place in many areas are effective for both Covid as well as influenza.

  5. Colonel Sean Ryan:

    ISIS fighters have been using suicide vests and car bombs to slow down the SDF offensive and hide from Coalition strikes in the area of Baghouz, they still hold civilians and are lacing the tunnels with IEDs (improvised explosive devices) as well.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for explosive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مادة متفجرةArabic
  • взривен, експлозив, избухливBulgarian
  • explosiuCatalan, Valencian
  • výbušný, výbušninaCzech
  • explosiv, Sprengstoff, aufbrausendGerman
  • explosivoSpanish
  • räjähtävä, räjähde, räjähdysmäinen, räjähdysherkkä, räjähdysaine, äkkipikainenFinnish
  • explosifFrench
  • irascibile, collerico, esplosivo, iracondoItalian
  • 爆発物Japanese
  • സ്ഫോടനവസ്തുMalayalam
  • explosief, springstof, plofstofDutch
  • wybuchowyPolish
  • взрывчатое вещество, взрывчатка, взрывной, вспыльчивый, взрывчатыйRussian
  • eksplozivenSlovene
  • patlayıcıTurkish

Get even more translations for explosive »


Find a translation for the explosive definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"explosive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/explosive>.

Discuss these explosive definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for explosive? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease
    A extroversive
    B proprietary
    C ambidextrous
    D epidemic

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for explosive: