What does powder mean?

Definitions for powder
ˈpaʊ dərpow·der

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. powder, pulverization, pulverisationnoun

    a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles; a solid that has been pulverized

  2. gunpowder, powdernoun

    a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur in a 75:15:10 ratio which is used in gunnery, time fuses, and fireworks

  3. powderverb

    any of various cosmetic or medical preparations dispensed in the form of a pulverized powder

  4. powderize, powderise, powder, pulverize, pulveriseverb

    make into a powder by breaking up or cause to become dust

    "pulverize the grains"

  5. powderverb

    apply powder to

    "She powdered her nose"; "The King wears a powdered wig"


  1. powdernoun

    The fine particles to which any dry substance is reduced by pounding, grinding, or triturating, or into which it falls by decay; dust.

  2. powdernoun

    An explosive mixture used in gunnery, blasting, etc.; gunpowder.

  3. powdernoun

    Light, dry, fluffy snow.

  4. powderverb

    To reduce to fine particles.

  5. powderverb

    To sprinkle with powder, or as with powder.

    to powder the hair.

  6. powderverb

    To be reduced to powder; to become like powder.

    Some salts powder easily.

  7. powderverb

    To use powder on the hair or skin.

    She paints and powders.

  8. Etymology: From poudre, pouldre, poudre, poldre, puldre, pulvis. compare pollen fine flour, mill dust, E. pollen. Compare polverine, pulverize.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. POWDERnoun

    Etymology: poudre, Fr.

    The calf which they had made, he burnt in the fire, and ground it to powder. Ex. xxxii. 20.

    The seditious being furnished with artillery, powder and shot, battered Bishopsgate. John Hayward.

    As to the taking of a town, there were few conquerors could signalize themselves that way, before the invention of powder and fortifications. Addison.

    When th’ hair is sweet through pride or lust,
    The powder doth forget the dust. George Herbert.

    Our humbler province is to tend the fair,
    To save the powder from too rude a gale. Alexander Pope.

  2. To Powderverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Powder thy radiant hair,
    Which if without such ashes thou would’st wear,
    Thou who, to all which come to look upon,
    Wert meant for Phœbus, would’st be Phaeton. John Donne.

    In the galaxy, that milky way
    Which nightly, as a circling zone, thou see’st
    Powder’d with stars. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. vii.

    The powder’d footman
    Beneath his flapping hat secures his hair. John Gay.

    If you imbowel me to day, I’ll give you leave to powder me and eat me to-morrow. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Salting of oysters, and powdering of meat, keepeth them from putrefaction. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    My hair I never powder, but my chief
    Invention is to get me powder’d beef. John Cleveland.

    Immoderate feeding upon powdered beef, pickled meats, anchovy, and debauching with brandy do inflame and acuate the blood. Gideon Harvey, on Consumptions.

  3. To Powderverb

    To come tumultuously and violently. A low corrupt word.

    Whilst two companions were disputing it at sword’s point, down comes a kite powdering upon them, and gobbets up both. Roger L'Estrange.


  1. powder

    Powder is a solid substance that has been ground, crushed, or otherwise processed into fine, loose, typically minute, particles. It can refer to various materials including substances like flour, ground coffee, or cosmetic products like face powder. The size and consistency of the particles can vary, ranging from coarse to ultrafine.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Powdernoun

    the fine particles to which any dry substance is reduced by pounding, grinding, or triturating, or into which it falls by decay; dust

  2. Powdernoun

    an explosive mixture used in gunnery, blasting, etc.; gunpowder. See Gunpowder

  3. Powderverb

    to reduce to fine particles; to pound, grind, or rub into a powder; to comminute; to pulverize; to triturate

  4. Powderverb

    to sprinkle with powder, or as with powder; to be sprinkle; as, to powder the hair

  5. Powderverb

    to sprinkle with salt; to corn, as meat

  6. Powderverb

    to be reduced to powder; to become like powder; as, some salts powder easily

  7. Powderverb

    to use powder on the hair or skin; as, she paints and powders

  8. Etymology: [OE. poudre, pouldre, F. poudre, OF. also poldre, puldre, L. pulvis, pulveris: cf. pollen fine flour, mill dust, E. pollen. Cf. Polverine, Pulverize.]


  1. Powder

    Powder were a Britpop band, who existed between 1994 and 1997, and released three singles on Parkway Records. Signed in late 1994 by music public relations agents John Best and Phill Savidge, they were the first band on the label. Powder were fronted by Pearl Lowe, with songwriters Mark Thomas on guitar and Tim McTighe on bass and James Walden on drums. Their first single "20th Century Gods", a Select Single Of The Month, sold out of its pressing of 1,500 within two days. This was followed by the release of "Afrodisiac" in June 1995, and appearances at music festivals as well as prime-time BBC music special Britpop Now. As the Parkway offices were situated in Camden, Powder were subjected to a fair amount of criticism from the music press for being a "Scenester" band, though in fact none of them actually lived there. They also acquired a stigma for touring with Menswear, who were at that time continually mocked by the NME and Melody Maker. After the release of their third and last single "Deep Fried" in November 1995, Powder stopped touring as Pearl was pregnant. By the time she was ready to tour again the band was finished, having announcing their split in spring 1996. Posthumous album MCMXCV, a compilation of all the tracks from their three singles, was released in Japan in 1997.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Powder

    pow′dėr, n. dust: any substance in fine particles: gunpowder, a mixture of charcoal, sulphur, and saltpetre: hair-powder.—v.t. to reduce to powder: to sprinkle with powder: to salt by sprinkling.—v.i. to crumble into powder: to use powder for the hair.—n. Pow′der-box, a box for toilet-powder, &c.—adj. Pow′dered, reduced to powder: sprinkled with powder: salted.—ns. Pow′der-flask, Pow′der-horn, a flask or horn for carrying powder, fitted with a means of measuring the amount of each charge; Pow′dering-gown, a loose dressing-gown worn while the hair was being powdered; Pow′dering-tub, a vessel in which meat is salted: a vessel in which venereal disease is treated by sweating; Pow′der-mag′azine, a strongly built place where powder is stored; Pow′der-mill, a mill in which gunpowder is made; Pow′der-mine, an excavation filled with gunpowder for blasting rocks, &c.; Pow′der-monk′ey, a boy formerly employed to carry powder to the gunners on board a ship-of-war; Pow′der-room, the room in a ship where powder is kept.—adj. Pow′dery, resembling or sprinkled with powder: dusty: friable. [O. Fr. poudre—L. pulvis, pulveris, dust.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. powder


Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. powder

    See Gunpowder.

Suggested Resources

  1. powder

    Song lyrics by powder -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by powder on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Powder is ranked #143149 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Powder surname appeared 116 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Powder.

    75% or 87 total occurrences were White.
    19.8% or 23 total occurrences were Black.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'powder' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4659

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'powder' in Nouns Frequency: #2353

How to pronounce powder?

How to say powder in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of powder in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of powder in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of powder in a Sentence

  1. Kevin McConway:

    One thing this research clearly demonstrates is how difficult it is to tie down whether something like this is indeed a risk factor for cancer. Despite this being a good, competent, careful study involving over quarter of a million women, it still leaves room for doubt about the association, if there is one, between using powder in the genital area and ovarian cancer, there is still uncertainty about whether any such association exists. If it does exist, there is uncertainty about whether the powder itself is what causes any increase in cancer risk. And there's also uncertainty about what the size of the risk increase is, if it there is one.

  2. Oliver Cromwell:

    Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.

  3. Henry James:

    The only success worth one's powder was success in the line of one's idiosyncrasy . what was talent but the art of being completely whatever one happened to be

  4. Edwin Hubbel Chapin:

    At the bottom of not a little of the bravery that appears in the world, there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they have not the courage to face public opinion.

  5. Wayne Gretzky:

    I don't like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don't like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it's essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for powder

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"powder." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/powder>.

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    interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
    • A. leaven
    • B. canopy
    • C. muddle
    • D. dint

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