(redirected from Gun-cotton)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to Gun-cotton: soluble guncotton


 (nī′trō-sĕl′yə-lōs′, -lōz′)
Any of various pulpy or cottonlike polymers derived from cellulose treated with nitric and sulfuric acids and used in the manufacture of explosives, lacquers, collodion, celluloid, plastics, and solid monopropellants. Physical properties and use vary with varying nitrogen content of the substance. Also called cellulose nitrate, guncotton, pyroxylin.

ni′tro·cel′lu·los′ic (-lō′sĭk, -zĭk) adj.


(Elements & Compounds) another name (not in chemical usage) for cellulose nitrate


(ˌnaɪ trəˈsɛl yəˌloʊs)

any of a group of nitric esters of cellulose, used in the manufacture of lacquers and explosives.
ni`tro•cel`lu•lo′sic, ni`tro•cel′lu•lous, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nitrocellulose - a nitric acid ester; used in lacquers and explosives
blasting gelatin - mixture of guncotton with nitroglycerin
cordite - explosive powder (nitroglycerin and guncotton and petrolatum) dissolved in acetone and dried and extruded in brown cords
cellulose ester - any ester of cellulose with an acid
pyrocellulose - nitrocellulose containing less nitrogen than guncotton; used in making smokeless powder
pyroxylin, pyroxyline - highly flammable nitrocellulose used in making collodion and plastics and lacquers
celluloid - highly flammable substance made from cellulose nitrate and camphor; used in e.g. motion-picture and X-ray film; its use has decreased with the development of nonflammable thermoplastics
nitrate - any compound containing the nitrate group (such as a salt or ester of nitric acid)
References in classic literature ?
Third, that the charge should contain 400,000 pounds of gun-cotton, which, giving out six billions of litres of gas in rear of the projectile, would easily carry it toward the orb of night.
The vessel was laden with TNT, picric acid, gun-cotton (an explosive substance) and drums of benzol fuel.