Definition of dynamite in English:



mass noun
  • 1A high explosive consisting of nitroglycerine mixed with an absorbent material and typically moulded into sticks.

    • ‘The builders of these bombs wouldn't have much trouble getting their hands on high explosives - dynamite is readily available, and TNT isn't too hard to come by.’
    • ‘For example, the material composition of dynamite makes possible its explosion when ignited.’
    • ‘About 10 masked men armed with rifles tied up two security guards and stole 66 sacks of ammonium nitrate, 58 sticks of dynamite and 170 fuses, police said.’
    • ‘Viewers also get to see what 700 sticks of dynamite and 3,000 gallons of gasoline in plastic garbage cans look like before they explode.’
    • ‘This ‘ammonium nitrate-fuel oil’ or ANFO explosive has replaced dynamite as the explosive of choice for many peacetime uses.’
    • ‘With more firepower than 10 ½ sticks of dynamite, it is the king of fireworks.’
    • ‘Sixty sticks of dynamite were found, plus pipe bombs, a live anti-tank shell and stolen student ID cards from campuses across the country.’
    • ‘Gas vapors are incredibly explosive - one cup of evaporated gas is equal to four sticks of dynamite!’
    • ‘The jury also heard how he received a text message showing fizzing sticks of dynamite just hours after one of the bombs went off.’
    • ‘Nitroglycerin makes up about 75% of the materials used in the manufacture of dynamite.’
    • ‘In 1867 he patented this material under the name dynamite.’
    • ‘Throwing sticks of dynamite and rocks, the demonstrators have confronted riot police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.’
    • ‘When they were tied he set several sticks of dynamite under their chairs and rigged fuse leading to outside.’
    • ‘The chemical engineer who has 32 years of experience in flammable and explosive material said damage from that amount of dynamite could be devastating.’
    • ‘A man landed in court for fishing with dynamite in the Finke River near Glen Helen.’
    • ‘This is one of the most explosive chemical mixtures known to man, the stuff that makes dynamite blow.’
    • ‘Like a distant boom, as if someone was blasting dynamite miles away.’
    • ‘It is unlikely that a sale of dynamite over the counter is permissible without compliance with some further bureaucratic procedures.’
    • ‘The Laps planned to use dynamite to blast a hole into the ice quickly.’
    • ‘When Nobel invented dynamite, he thought it was a fantastically helpful thing to be used in mining.’
    1. 1.1Something that could generate extreme reactions or have devastating repercussions.
      ‘that roads policy is political dynamite’
      • ‘His play was considered political dynamite despite the fact that the setting is quite general.’
      • ‘Mr Collins said: ‘This issue is turning into political dynamite around the country.’’
      • ‘If his real name emerges, his story would be political dynamite as he might be willing to disclose reams of information concerning dozens of murders.’
      • ‘They know fine well that the amount politicians are paid is political dynamite.’
      • ‘Seven years before US Surgeon General Luther Terry would announce a link between smoking and cancer, this information was political and business dynamite.’
      • ‘The news brought by these polls is political dynamite.’
      • ‘This is a weakness that should be considered anew - although that too would be political dynamite.’
      • ‘This issue is political dynamite, although not for quite the same reasons as in Britain.’
      • ‘And in the midst of a serious recession, the de facto reversal of a program which formed the basis of a national mandate could be political dynamite.’
      • ‘2003 could pack as much political dynamite as 2002.’
      • ‘What the bill doesn't do, critics stress, is commit the government to earmarking more money to bail out the banks, an idea that is political dynamite.’
      • ‘A guilty verdict would be political dynamite and would have paved the way for the prosecution of other individuals.’
      • ‘That would be political dynamite - the opposition are certain to attack any benefit cuts.’
      • ‘How did Republicans defuse an issue that looked like political dynamite?’
      • ‘This sudden austerity is political dynamite for Schroeder's opponents, who claim he is bowing to Brussels.’
      • ‘Crime statistics are political dynamite, and the media is trying constantly to light the fuse of public alarm.’
      • ‘My guess is that both sides consider this to be political dynamite and will try to avoid making it an issue.’
      • ‘For another decade governments were shy of such political dynamite.’
      • ‘That piece of movement has really been dynamite in terms of generating growth!’
      • ‘His wife is pregnant: in today's politics, this is dynamite.’
    2. 1.2informal An extremely impressive or exciting person or thing.
      ‘both her albums are dynamite’
      as modifier ‘a chick with a dynamite figure’
      • ‘He told a crowd outside the Santa Maria courtroom: ‘There is some dynamite stuff on these tapes.’’
      • ‘You can count on some dynamite protest music, spoken in many tongues.’
      • ‘Is that Lola Falana one dynamite singer, or what?’
      • ‘Catalogs provide some dynamite information on good varieties.’
      • ‘Darius is a punishing hitter who provides dynamite run support.’
      • ‘Will provided me with a copy of the chapter concerning the interview, and let me just say that it's absolutely jaw-dropping, dynamite stuff.’
      • ‘She wrote in her autobiography that The Manchurian Candidate was ‘a dynamite film,’ though she had worried about working with Frank Sinatra.’
      • ‘Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk?’
      • ‘I could see how the flavors - especially the apple pie spices - could make for some really dynamite caramel corn.’
      • ‘The actor, as a restrained Reverend, puts in a dynamite performance, in contrast to his over the top roles in several recent films.’
      • ‘It's a dynamite article, whether you saw the movie or not.’
      • ‘And now we turn it over to my esteemed colleague, who did a dynamite job last night anchoring in a very difficult situation.’
      • ‘It would be the dream location for young kids and older players through the Greater Toronto area, a dynamite rink for the larger city in the heart of the downtown.’
      • ‘Again, the special is heaps of food: chicken udon with a dynamite roll of sushi and a lovely piece of salmon for $8.95.’
      • ‘On Friday night, The Rankins were the headline performers, and they put on a dynamite show for 8,000 delighted people.’
      • ‘The analysis of the collective psychological errancy of that time combined with the footage was a dynamite commentary on what went wrong.’
      • ‘Just think of all the dynamite department store options in women's sizes.’
      • ‘All things being equal, I think he would be a dynamite addition to the ticket.’
      • ‘Accompanied by Flipside, whose rhymes are always slick and savvy, the two performed a dynamite set.’
      • ‘Not that it's a stinker, I just didn't think it was all that great, which is a shame as it has a dynamite cast.’
    3. 1.3informal, dated A narcotic, especially heroin.


[with object]
  • Blow up (something) with dynamite.

    ‘he threatened to dynamite a major hydroelectric dam’
    • ‘Then the house was dynamited, destroying a whole side of it.’
    • ‘Work has already begun on dynamiting the rocky landscape to create space for the construction of the moat.’
    • ‘Guerrillas dynamited the mayor's mansion in Ramadi.’
    • ‘The 2300 block of Park Avenue, three blocks north of Temple University, is so blighted it ought to be dynamited.’
    • ‘As a commando behind the lines in the Philippines he had once witnessed the unloading of heavy boxes from a Japanese ship, their being placed in a tunnel, and the entrance being dynamited shut.’
    • ‘It was dynamited, and today its site is a riverside park.’
    • ‘He dynamited land to build roads that are still in use today.’
    • ‘The icy ground was dynamited to dig a 20,000-yard trench for a common grave.’
    • ‘A decade after his son was hired on, the company closed the mill and then dynamited it.’
    • ‘On Apo Island, off the southern coast of Negros in the Philippines, for example, villagers are no longer dynamiting the coral reefs to catch fish.’
    • ‘Around him, the Company laborers were dynamiting a rock face in an attempt to build a rail line, and others sat under the shade of trees, overwhelmed by the heat.’
    • ‘It was a gesture guaranteed to win public sympathy but, like dynamiting an opera house, it was strictly a negative act of cultural vandalism.’
    • ‘One night several months ago he dynamited the large rock in the center of the garden.’
    • ‘‘They've dynamited the roads,’ the captain said, a note of respect and misgiving in his voice.’
    • ‘Trains lines were dynamited, and civilians were attacking police stations and disarming police officers and taking them prisoner.’
    • ‘The Wardencliff Tower sat until 1914 when it was dynamited by someone.’
    • ‘He and his wife were killed when their home was dynamited in 1951.’
    • ‘The ledge is long gone, having been dynamited in the nineteenth century to make way for a railroad.’
    • ‘Easily accessible in just 8m of water, the wreck has been salvaged and subsequently used for target practice in the 1950s, before being dynamited as a navigational hazard.’
    • ‘Large quantities of rock had to be dynamited, taken to the surface, crushed, and then treated by chemical process.’
    demolish, knock down, pull down, tear down, level, raze, raze to the ground, fell, dismantle, break up, wreck, ruin, smash, shatter, crash, blast, blow up, blow to bits, blow to pieces, dynamite, explode, bomb, torpedo


Mid 19th century from Greek dunamis ‘power’ + -ite.