dy·na·mite (dī’nə-mīt′)
n. 1) Any of a class of powerful explosives composed of nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate dispersed in an absorbent medium with a combustible dope, such as wood pulp, and an antacid, such as calcium carbonate, used in blasting and mining. 2) Slang a) Something exceptionally exciting or wonderful. b) Something exceptionally dangerous: »

These allegations are political dynamite.

tr.v. dy·na·mit·ed, dy·na·mit·ing, dy·na·mites To blow up, shatter, or otherwise destroy with dynamite.
adj. Slang Outstanding; superb: »

a dynamite performance; a dynamite outfit.

[Swedish dynamit, from Greek dunamis, power; see DYNAMIC(Cf. dynamic).]
dy’na·mit′er n.
Word History: The Nobel Prizes were established by the Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) with funds from his immense personal fortune, amassed in part through the manufacture of explosives and armaments. Nobel was the inventor of dynamite—he had discovered that the highly explosive chemical compound nitroglycerine could be made easier to transport and handle if it was mixed with an inert substance. To name his mixture, Nobel invented the word dynamite. Originally coined in Swedish in the form dynamit, the word was compounded from Greek dunamis, "power," and the Swedish suffix -it, which corresponds to the English suffix -ite used to form the names of rocks, minerals, commercial products, and other substances. Greek dunamis also gave us words such as dynamic and dynamo. Dunamis is related to the Greek verb dunasthai, "to be able," from which comes English dynasty, denoting a family or group that wields power over several generations.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dynamiter — [ dinamite ] v. tr. <conjug. : 1> • 1890; de dynamite 1 ♦ Faire sauter à la dynamite. Dynamiter un pont. 2 ♦ Poser une charge de dynamite sur (qqch.). 3 ♦ (1966) Fig. Faire éclater les règles traditionnelles de (un système). Dynamiter le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dynamiter — Dy na*mi ter, n. One who uses dynamite; esp., one who uses it for the destruction of life and property. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dynamiter — In railroad slang a Dynamiter is an undesired emergency application of the air brakes when a brake pipe reduction is made. It is usually caused by a dirty or stuck piston on one of the cars in the train which when releases, (kicks) over to the… …   Wikipedia

  • dynamiter — noun see dynamite II …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dynamiter — See dynamite. * * * …   Universalium

  • dynamiter — noun a person who uses dynamite, especially one who uses it unlawfully …   Wiktionary

  • dynamiter — Synonyms and related words: annihilator, arsonist, biblioclast, bomber, burner, demolisher, destroyer, dynamitard, exterminator, hun, iconoclast, idol breaker, idoloclast, nihilist, ruiner, syndicalist, terrorist, vandal, wrecker …   Moby Thesaurus

  • dynamiter — dy·na·mit·er || daɪnÉ™maɪtÉ™(r) n. terrorist; person who uses dynamite …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dynamiter — dy·na·mit·er …   English syllables

  • dynamiter — /ˈdaɪnəmaɪtə/ (say duynuhmuytuh) noun someone who uses dynamite, especially for revolutionary purposes. Also, dynamitist …   Australian English dictionary

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