Meaning of powder in English:


Pronunciation /ˈpaʊdə/

See synonyms for powder

Translate powder into Spanish


mass noun
  • 1Fine, dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance.

    ‘add four tablespoons of cocoa powder’
    • ‘crush the poppy seeds to a powder’
    • ‘They can then be pounded to pieces and made into fine powder through repeated grinding in water.’
    • ‘The thickness of the laminae increased with the size of the particles of the fine powder, but not to any great extent as follows.’
    • ‘All that was left behind him was a fine, crushed multi-colored powder.’
    • ‘The remaining cake, still containing a varying percentage of cocoa butter, is broken into smaller pieces to be sold as cocoa cake or ground into a fine cocoa powder.’
    • ‘The final grinding again produces an extremely fine powder and close proximity of potentially reactive substances.’
    • ‘The frozen mycelia were ground into fine powder with a mortar and pestle.’
    • ‘This substance was ground into powder, rendered to paste, and then used, for example, as body paint.’
    • ‘Dried manure ground into fine powder by hooves and wagon wheels puffed up into the air and its pungent smell filled the town and drifted far outside the town.’
    • ‘Sift 2 cups of icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder into a bowl.’
    • ‘The sand here is as fine as baby powder and blows up at a moments notice at the slightest movement of wind.’
    • ‘Whole leaves ground to a fine spice-like powder can be used as seasoning or in backing recipes for breads, cookies, cakes, and muffins.’
    • ‘After a quick dusting with fine aluminium powder, a clear print is taken and she compares it with a chart of trainer footprints.’
    • ‘What's the official term for the fine powder shed by muesli, and remaining at the end of the sack?’
    • ‘Crush the seeds to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar.’
    • ‘Dust with translucent powder using a large brush.’
    • ‘The sand, as Sam had said, was indeed, soft as powder and oozed cool and comfortingly through his bare toes.’
    • ‘It was white and soft like powder, but it carried an aroma that could only be distinguished with the ocean.’
    • ‘He slowly rolls to his feet, blinks, and brushes the white ash-like powder off himself.’
    • ‘Polishing on a brush wheel with putty powder retained the crispness and grain marks of the stone wheels but acid polishing removes all these signs and tends to round off the edges of the cuts.’
    • ‘Wet your toothbrush, dip it into the powder, and then brush your teeth and rinse as usual.’
    dust, fine particles, fine grains
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A cosmetic in the form of powder, applied to a person's face with a brush or soft pad.
      ‘she applied lipstick and powder’
      • ‘a light dusting of translucent powder’
      • ‘The lipsticks, eye shadows, blushes and translucent powder in this kit will help transform your looks in no time.’
      • ‘Instead I covered my face in a soft bronzing powder and coated my eyelashes with mascara.’
      • ‘I quickly threw on foundation, powder, mascara, eye shadow, and lipstick.’
      • ‘They put down their bags, and pulled out three sets of brushes and powder.’
      • ‘Sitting on the edge of a table as powder is brushed on his forehead and face, he looks dapper in a navy suit, light-blue tie, black dress shoes and trench coat.’
      • ‘My face was being attacked by powder and glosses and brushes were attacking my hair.’
      • ‘Leave a little extra powder on the brush, pop the cap on, and toss it in your bag for all-day touch-ups.’
      • ‘Blow the excess powder off the brush before you begin, then smile into the mirror.’
      • ‘I just knew the five most basic things - compact powder, eye shadow, blusher, eyeliner and lipstick.’
      • ‘My face had been blanketed in pale powder and my cheeks brushed vigorously with pinky red rouge.’
      • ‘I flipped down the visor and began to brush silver powder onto my eyelids.’
      • ‘Then set the base using powder - translucent is best.’
      • ‘To cover spots, match concealer to skin tone, dot on a small amount at a time and set with translucent powder to even out pores and minimise shine on the T-zone.’
      • ‘Make sure you have the basic tools: tweezers, cuticle scissors, clear mascara, a white eye pencil and an eyebrow pencil or powder.’
      • ‘She might not have any eye shadows on or powder for the face, yet she had on a soft shade of lipstick that you would miss if you were not observant - like Kevin.’
      • ‘She was an attractive woman who wore little make up apart from lipstick and facial powder.’
      • ‘If you've been treating your complexion well, a dab of concealer over redness around the nose and mouth plus a dusting of loose powder will suffice.’
      • ‘Then dip the other end into loose powder and pat it on over the blemish.’
      • ‘I even tried putting on loose powder, which is supposed to help skin stay matte longer, but it didn't work this time.’
      • ‘To keep the shine away, add a dab of loose or pressed powder.’
    2. 1.2 dated count noun A medicine or drug in the form of powder, usually designed to be dissolved in a liquid.
      ‘she dropped a powder into his water glass’
      • ‘Do not use teething lotions, powders, whiskey, or paregoric (because it has opium in it).’
      • ‘As well as tinctures, homeopathic remedies are available as sugar-based tablets, pills, granules and powders to be taken by mouth, and some also come as creams or ointments to be applied directly to the skin.’
      • ‘The leaves and seeds, which mature in long pods, are used to prepare extracts or powders for medicinal use.’
      • ‘Pills, powders, caplets, tablets, tinctures, oils and herb formulas can aid good health, but only if they're supplemental to a good diet.’
      • ‘Well, unfortunately, is that this drug does not come in pill form, or as a powder or liquid.’
    3. 1.3Gunpowder.
      ‘And I flung myself on top of him, and there was this awful noise, the smell of cordite, death, powder, gunpowder, everything and that passed over.’
      • ‘I pour out a box of black projectile powder, much to the alarm of the two onlookers, and fill it up with my treasures.’
      • ‘Doctors also treated a teenager who attempted to build an explosive device with a lead pipe and powder from shotgun cartridges.’
      • ‘The United States did not adopt the newfangled smokeless powder until 1892, a few years after it became widely available.’
      • ‘My religion consists in a firelock, open touchhole, good flint, well rammed charge, and seventy rounds of powder and ball.’
      • ‘Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.’
      • ‘He also coinvented the explosive powder cordite and even worked in collaboration with legendary chemist Pierre Curie.’
      • ‘Among the tribe, Bent earned a reputation as a gunsmith, taking powder from captured grenades and using animal tissue for cartridge paper to plump up ammunition stocks.’
      • ‘Two of these, obviously, are firearms and black powder or modern powder substitutes, such as Pyrodex or Triple Seven.’
      • ‘It exerts the best leverage in seating the ball over the powder of any percussion revolver ever produced.’
  • 2

    (also powder snow)
    Loose, dry, newly fallen snow.

    ‘in Aspen, blue skies and good powder drew in record numbers’
    • ‘the promise of fresh powder snow brought more than 1300 excited guests to the mountain’
    • ‘powder skiing’
    • ‘There was something about the newly falling powder snow that created a haven, erasing all the difficulties the past few weeks had presented and allowed it to be just me and the perfect world outside.’
    • ‘He was sitting in loose powder snow on a steep slope and there was no way he could anchor himself to the mountain.’
    • ‘Yet all was not powder snow twinkling in a rosy sunrise, and morale continued at a low ebb.’
    • ‘I realized that the effects of riding on powder snow would be very similar to riding on water.’
    • ‘Since the epic dump last week, the weather has warmed a little, and we have received nothing but sleet and rain, which has turned the once fluffy powder snow into granulated sugar snow.’
    • ‘Examination of forage craters indicated that caribou had to contend with only a few centimetres of soft powder snow with a loose granular base.’
    • ‘The sun shone in a clear blue sky, and powder snow sparkled below us.’
    • ‘In order to prevent wet powder snow from sticking to the dirt that works its way into the tread pattern, the kick zone especially needs to stay clean.’
    • ‘After dinner, walk outside, take a deep breath of the pine-scented air, and enjoy the moonlight on ponderosa trunks that peek through a layer of fresh powder snow, and the inky mountains in the distance.’
    • ‘There are fantastic conditions in the US and Canada, where new snow and fresh powder make perfect skiing.’
    • ‘Colorado: the name conjures up images of deep powder, clear blue skies and great skiing.’
    • ‘I have only skied on them for one day and mostly in heavy snow, not powder.’
    • ‘Few of the massed ranks of skiers discussing last night's disco at the restaurant get to know the delights of skiing over fresh powder.’
    • ‘I chose my line of untracked snow and pushed off, testing my telemark turns in the knee-deep powder.’
    • ‘Janet trudged through the freshly fallen silent shroud of powder.’
    • ‘Gradually the sun warms up and then, finally, a band of bright, pale gold hits the snow and the fresh powder begins to sparkle beneath your skis.’
    • ‘His only accompaniment was the soft hiss of snow passing beneath his skis and the low whistle of the wind as it shaped the loose powder.’
    • ‘You want lots and lots of freshly fallen powder?’
    • ‘I seldom ski steep winter powder, and I'm careful about which days I go out.’
    • ‘Are you thinking about whether your toboggan is made of wood or Plexiglas, or whether the snow is deep powder or sleet?’


[with object]
  • 1Apply cosmetic powder to (the face or body)

    ‘she powdered her face and put on a dab of perfume’
    • ‘When talking to Mr. Horsfield, who will become her lover, she powders her face, appearing to Horsfield as controlled, furtive, and calculating.’
    • ‘And although powdering the face and hair and wearing some rouge were the rage in England, it wasn't applied like this woman wore it.’
    • ‘I then put on my necklace and started powdering my face.’
    • ‘With that, he grabbed a puff and began powdering his face with limp wrists.’
    • ‘She went all out in getting dressed in the mornings, doing up her hair and powdering her face.’
    • ‘Despite the fact he was a guy, he worse black lipstick, black eyeshadow, and I'm pretty sure he powdered his face to get that perfect just-died paleness in his face.’
    • ‘I applied a ton of dark eyeliner and mascara to my eyes and powdered my face a chalky white, which made me look like one of the ‘undead.’’
    • ‘They powdered her face and neck and pulled on the chemise.’
    • ‘He powdered his face, his small nose crinkling at the smell.’
    • ‘Damn these cheeks… do you reckon if I powdered my face up, people can't see if I blush?’
    • ‘The pouf was retrieved, and soon her face was powdered in a very thin layer of chalky white, barely there.’
    • ‘Mother powdered my face, brushing blush onto my cheeks and a dark lipstick on my lips that matched my hair.’
    • ‘Her face was powdered to perfection with a single beauty mark above and to the left of her soft lips.’
    • ‘She then proceeded to powder my face unbearably until I sneezed.’
    • ‘I guess next time I should wear an evening gown, do my hair in a fancy up do, maybe powder my face.’
    • ‘I quickly went in front of my vanity mirror to powder my face and add mascara and shadow.’
    • ‘One faces the gunpowder while the other powders the face.’
    • ‘His face was powdered heavily, to cover the bruising and thinness of death.’
    • ‘Here's a secret of the North Pole: Santa powders his hands with talc before donning his thick red mittens.’
    • ‘Then, just before they go in front of the judges, the horses' hair is powdered with sawdust and fluffed up with a comb.’
    dust, cover with powder, dredge with powder, sprinkle with powder, talc
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Sprinkle or cover (a surface) with powder or a powdery substance.
      ‘broken glass powdered the floor’
      • ‘The dance floor was freshly powdered for slippery Motown spins.’
      • ‘The baby lay in front of her, powdered with plaster dust, and she pulled the child to her.’
  • 2Reduce (a substance) to a powder by drying or crushing it.

    ‘then the rose petals are dried and powdered’
    • ‘A delicious sweet version can be made by mixing the ground black sesame with honey or dry powdered pure sugar cane juice extract.’
    • ‘Shoe odour can be eliminated by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda or dry, powdered herbs, such as chamomile, in the shoes each evening.’
    • ‘You can even make your own natural insect repellent with a little liquid soap, powdered cayenne pepper, onion, garlic, and water mixed in a spray bottle.’
    • ‘Crack cocaine is a much different substance than powdered cocaine.’
    • ‘Don't use an airtight one, otherwise the humidity inside will dampen the dry powdered ingredients.’
    • ‘Add whipped cream and powdered chocolate or vanilla to taste.’
    • ‘In Trinidad, you can buy powdered coconut milk: and measurements in this post are based on this form of coconut milk.’
    • ‘The Japanese drink powdered green tea, the bancha, in the form of an elaborate religious ceremony.’
    • ‘The grains of some finely powdered ingredients also have this property, including mustard powder - which is why, when making mayonnaise, mustard is added to the egg yolk before mixing in the oil.’
    • ‘On one of the drops, our team received a package containing powdered coffee and chocolate, a real treat.’
    • ‘With sources of potable water impaired, powdered milk is unusable in these circumstances, leaving the drink box the only source of milk for children and pregnant women.’
    • ‘Other popular substances are powdered flowers and herbs or grains.’
    • ‘It seemed to me like a palace floor, strewn with roses and powdered gold.’
    • ‘Buy powdered garden lime and dust it over the entire yard, especially where your pet's house is.’
    • ‘When powdered slate is mixed with limestone it makes a good cement.’
    • ‘Mix 1,000 mg of each powdered herb into 1 ounce of ghee, a clarified butter, and use all of it as a cooking oil.’
    • ‘Using a bamboo whisk, thick tea is prepared by mixing powdered green tea with just enough water to produce the proper consistency.’
    • ‘Here the herb is powdered and pressed into gelatin capsules or pills.’
    • ‘The herbs are powdered, and then mixed into a paste made with ground fruits and nuts, nut butters, and honey.’
    • ‘Sample was prepared by powdering the pills and passing through the mesh.’
    dried, freeze-dried, dehydrated
    crush, grind, pulverize, pound, mill, granulate
    View synonyms


    keep one's powder dry
    • Remain cautious and ready for a possible emergency.

      ‘With two teams already declared as starters in Lismore, one of which is a Country Labor team, Richmond Valley candidates are so far keeping their powder dry as to possible allegiances.’
      • ‘He plans to keep his powder dry for the flurry of deals likely to emerge in the sector.’
      • ‘Voters just kept their powder dry until someone viewed as credible came along.’
      • ‘In the opening Bach, they kept their powder dry.’
      • ‘And what's all this about keeping your powder dry?’
      • ‘Even though his side have won three of their last four matches against the French, he is under no illusions: ‘They have been quietly keeping their powder dry.’’
      • ‘The feedback I'm getting from most sources around the traps is that they are spending a lot of effort on the sort of counter attack, and they're keeping their powder dry for the moment, letting National fire shots essentially into thin air.’
      • ‘But shareholders were initially keeping their powder dry as they waited to see if the world's largest brewer would open up with a counter bid and raise the bidding stakes.’
      • ‘Nobody seems to know who the developers are - I suspect they are keeping their powder dry as they know what a prime site it is being 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from Manchester.’
      • ‘They're keeping their powder dry for nominee number two.’
    powder one's nose
    • (of a woman) go to the toilet.

      ‘One such lady at the table adjacent to ours went to the toilet to powder her nose.’
      • ‘But beyond powdering one's nose, women and men surely have other expectations of their town centres.’
      • ‘How's this for weird: my Dad went out to powder his nose, and came back and said ‘can you believe it?’’
      • ‘According to eyewitness reports, after arriving at a swanky house party, she popped upstairs to powder her nose.’
      • ‘She smiled back, put her napkin on the table and slipped away to powder her nose.’
      • ‘She powdered her nose and returned to the stage.’
      • ‘Besides, you can ditch boring conversations by really going to powder your nose.’
      • ‘How I long for a simpler time, when the only way to chew your leg out of the bad-date bear trap was to excuse yourself to powder your nose and wriggle through a restroom window…’
      • ‘Be briefly cordial; if you can't stand it, go powder your nose and meet your boyfriend back at your seats.’
      • ‘In that case, I think I'll just go powder my nose.’
    take a powder
    North American informal
    • Depart quickly, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation.

      • ‘He was the only one in the entire neighborhood that took a powder.’
      • ‘But the way the bishops are going to learn this is by carrying their cross, not taking a powder when it gets hot.’
      • ‘The nation's most prestigious newspaper takes a powder, retreating from the insistent voice - in which it advises the administration to provide world ‘leadership’ with its ‘power’ - to a pathetically passive tone.’’
      • ‘It's anybody's guess as to whether he will be allowed to take a powder now that his hypocrisy, mismanagement, corruption, vanity, arrogance, and, yes, cruelty, to victims has been exposed.’
      • ‘Cast your mind back to the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria: When an influenza outbreak ripped through the ranks of athletes, 25 were forced to take a powder.’
      • ‘To be priest is to carry the cross, not to take a powder.’
      • ‘And when the dame took a powder, it was even worse: ‘I stopped in a bar and had a couple double Scotches.’’
      • ‘Pushed by their label to make their already completed record more radio-friendly, the band took a powder, built enormous fan interest by distributing the album online and released it on Nonesuch Records.’
      • ‘The police tend to think he just got fed up with the high-pressure lifestyle, and being caught between the two women in his life, and that he took a powder.’
      • ‘So your stock tanked and your pension plan took a powder.’


Middle English from Old French poudre, from Latin pulvis, pulver- ‘dust’.