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1. Any of a class of powerful explosives composed of nitroglycerin or ammonium nitrate dispersed in an absorbent medium with a combustible dope, such as wood pulp, and an antacid, such as calcium carbonate, used in blasting and mining.
2. Slang
a. Something exceptionally exciting or wonderful.
b. Something exceptionally dangerous: These allegations are political dynamite.
tr.v. dy·na·mit·ed, dy·na·mit·ing, dy·na·mites
To blow up, shatter, or otherwise destroy with dynamite.
adj. Slang
Outstanding; superb: a dynamite performance; a dynamite outfit.

[Swedish dynamit, from Greek dunamis, power; see dynamic.]

dy′na·mit′er n.
Word History: The Nobel Prizes were established by the Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) with funds from his immense personal fortune, amassed in part through the manufacture of explosives and armaments. Nobel was the inventor of dynamite—he had discovered that the highly explosive chemical compound nitroglycerine could be made easier to transport and handle if it was mixed with an inert substance. To name his mixture, Nobel invented the word dynamite. Originally coined in Swedish in the form dynamit, the word was compounded from Greek dunamis, "power," and the Swedish suffix -it, which corresponds to the English suffix -ite used to form the names of rocks, minerals, commercial products, and other substances. Greek dunamis also gave us words such as dynamic and dynamo. Dunamis is related to the Greek verb dunasthai, "to be able," from which comes English dynasty, denoting a family or group that wields power over several generations.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dynamiter - a person who uses dynamite in a revolutionary cause
revolutionary, revolutionist, subversive, subverter - a radical supporter of political or social revolution
References in periodicals archive ?
Mais elle est en train malheureusement, cote des acteurs associatifs, de se rechauffer a une temperature inquietante au risque de dynamiter tout l'espoir d'apaisement nourri a ce jour.
L'entraineur portugais vise Pedro, l'ailier, pour dynamiter son equipe.
Aidan Galvin, the Irish Dynamiter, escapes from his prison wagon in Whitechapel.
vvb c Ambiorix (1946, Tourbillon - Lavendula, by Pharos) Champion 2yo vvb f Coronation (1946, Djebel - Esmeralda, by Tourbillon) Champion 3yo; Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe vvch f Asmena (1947, Goya - Astronomie, by Asterus) Oaks vvb f Corejada (1947, Pharis - Tourzima, by Tourbillon) Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Irish Oaks vvch c Galcador (1947, Djebel - Pharyva, by Pharos) Derby vvch c Scratch (1947, Pharis - Orlamonde, by Asterus) Prix du Jockey Club, St Leger vvb f Djelfa (1948, Djebel - Cynthia, by Thor) Champion 2yo filly; Poule d'Essai des Pouliches vvbr c Dynamiter (1948, Pharis - Pretty Lady, by Umidwar) Champion S.
Nul n'a pu le suivre dans la conclusion d'une course que l'Espagnol Alberto Contador avait tente de dynamiter a cinq tours de l'arrivee, avec l'aide de l'equipe de France travaillant pour Thomas Voeckler.
The executioner who decorated his front room with nooses comes a close second to a local eccentric with even more hang-ups - J F Jones, museum curator and dynamiter.