- a high explosive, originally consisting of nitroglycerin mixed with an absorbent substance, now with ammonium nitrate usually replacing the nitroglycerin.
- any person or thing having a spectacular effect.
verb (used with object), dy·na·mit·ed, dy·na·mit·ing.
- to blow up, shatter, or destroy with dynamite: Saboteurs dynamited the dam.
- to mine or charge with dynamite.
- Informal. creating a spectacular or optimum effect; great; topnotch: a dynamite idea; a dynamite crew.
- an explosive consisting of nitroglycerine or ammonium nitrate mixed with kieselguhr, sawdust, or wood pulp
- informal a spectacular or potentially dangerous person or thing
- (tr) to mine or blow up with dynamite
1867, from Swedish dynamit, coined 1867 by its inventor, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), from Greek dynamis “power” (see dynamic (adj.)) + -ite (2). Figurative sense of “something potentially dangerous” is from 1922. Positive sense of “dynamic and excellent” by mid-1960s, perhaps originally Black English.
1881, from dynamite (n.). Related: Dynamited; dynamiting.
- A powerful explosive used in blasting and mining. It typically consists of nitroglycerin and a nitrate (especially sodium nitrate or ammonium nitrate), combined with an absorbent material that makes it safer to handle.