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gunpowder

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gunpowder


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Gunpowder  \Gun"pow`der\,  n.  (Chem.) 
  A  black,  granular,  explosive  substance,  consisting  of  an 
  intimate  mechanical  mixture  of  niter,  charcoal,  and  sulphur. 
  It  is  used  in  gunnery  and  blasting. 
 
  Note:  Gunpowder  consists  of  from  70  to  80  per  cent  of  niter, 
  with  10  to  15  per  cent  of  each  of  the  other 
  ingredients.  Its  explosive  energy  is  due  to  the  fact 
  that  it  contains  the  necessary  amount  of  oxygen  for  its 
  own  combustion,  and  liberates  gases  (chiefly  nitrogen 
  and  carbon  dioxide),  which  occupy  a  thousand  or  fifteen 
  hundred  times  more  space  than  the  powder  which 
  generated  them 
 
  {Gunpowder  pile  driver},  a  pile  driver,  the  hammer  of  which 
  is  thrown  up  by  the  explosion  of  gunpowder. 
 
  {Gunpowder  plot}  (Eng.  Hist.),  a  plot  to  destroy  the  King, 
  Lords,  and  Commons,  in  revenge  for  the  penal  laws  against 
  Catholics.  As  Guy  Fawkes,  the  agent  of  the  conspirators, 
  was  about  to  fire  the  mine,  which  was  placed  under  the 
  House  of  Lords,  he  was  seized,  Nov.  5,  1605.  Hence  Nov.  5 
  is  known  in  England  as  {Guy  Fawkes  Day}. 
 
  {Gunpowder  tea},  a  species  of  fine  green  tea,  each  leaf  of 
  which  is  rolled  into  a  small  ball  or  pellet. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  gunpowder 
  n  :  a  mixture  of  potassium  nitrate,  charcoal,  and  sulfur  in  a 
  75:15:10  ratio  which  is  used  in  gunnery,  time  fuses,  and 
  fireworks  [syn:  {powder}] 
 
  From  U.S.  Gazetteer  (1990)  [gazetteer]: 
 
  Gunpowder,  MD 
  Zip  code(s):  21010 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  GUNPOWDER,  n.  An  agency  employed  by  civilized  nations  for  the 
  settlement  of  disputes  which  might  become  troublesome  if  left 
  unadjusted.  By  most  writers  the  invention  of  gunpowder  is  ascribed  to 
  the  Chinese,  but  not  upon  very  convincing  evidence.  Milton  says  it 
  was  invented  by  the  devil  to  dispel  angels  with  and  this  opinion 
  seems  to  derive  some  support  from  the  scarcity  of  angels.  Moreover, 
  it  has  the  hearty  concurrence  of  the  Hon.  James  Wilson,  Secretary  of 
  Agriculture. 
  Secretary  Wilson  became  interested  in  gunpowder  through  an  event 
  that  occurred  on  the  Government  experimental  farm  in  the  District  of 
  Columbia.  One  day  several  years  ago,  a  rogue  imperfectly  reverent  of 
  the  Secretary's  profound  attainments  and  personal  character  presented 
  him  with  a  sack  of  gunpowder,  representing  it  as  the  sed  of  the 
  _Flashawful  flabbergastor_,  a  Patagonian  cereal  of  great  commercial 
  value,  admirably  adapted  to  this  climate.  The  good  Secretary  was 
  instructed  to  spill  it  along  in  a  furrow  and  afterward  inhume  it  with 
  soil.  This  he  at  once  proceeded  to  do  and  had  made  a  continuous  line 
  of  it  all  the  way  across  a  ten-acre  field,  when  he  was  made  to  look 
  backward  by  a  shout  from  the  generous  donor,  who  at  once  dropped  a 
  lighted  match  into  the  furrow  at  the  starting-point.  Contact  with  the 
  earth  had  somewhat  dampened  the  powder,  but  the  startled  functionary 
  saw  himself  pursued  by  a  tall  moving  pillar  of  fire  and  smoke  and 
  fierce  evolution.  He  stood  for  a  moment  paralyzed  and  speechless, 
  then  he  recollected  an  engagement  and  dropping  all  absented  himself 
  thence  with  such  surprising  celerity  that  to  the  eyes  of  spectators 
  along  the  route  selected  he  appeared  like  a  long,  dim  streak 
  prolonging  itself  with  inconceivable  rapidity  through  seven  villages, 
  and  audibly  refusing  to  be  comforted.  "Great  Scott!  what  is  that?" 
  cried  a  surveyor's  chainman,  shading  his  eyes  and  gazing  at  the  fading 
  line  of  agriculturist  which  bisected  his  visible  horizon.  "That," 
  said  the  surveyor,  carelessly  glancing  at  the  phenomenon  and  again 
  centering  his  attention  upon  his  instrument,  "is  the  Meridian  of 
  Washington." 
 
 
  H 
 
 
 




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