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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English poudre, pouldre, Old French poudre, poldre, puldre, Latin pulvis(dust, powder). compare pollen fine flour, mill dust, E. pollen. Compare polverine, pulverize.



powder ‎(countable and uncountable, plural powders)

  1. The fine particles to which any dry substance is reduced by pounding, grinding, or triturating, or into which it falls by decay; dust.
  2. (cosmetics) A mixture of fine dry, sweet-smelling particles applied to the face or other body parts, to reduce shine or to alleviate chaffing.
    • 1912, Willa Cather, The Bohemian Girl:
      She was redolent of violet sachet powder, and had warm, soft, white hands, but she danced divinely, moving as smoothly as the tide coming in.
  3. An explosive mixture used in gunnery, blasting, etc.; gunpowder.
  4. (informal) Light, dry, fluffy snow.

Derived terms[edit]



powder ‎(third-person singular simple present powders, present participle powdering, simple past and past participle powdered)

  1. (transitive) To reduce to fine particles; to pound, grind, or rub into a powder.
  2. (transitive) To sprinkle with powder, or as with powder.
    to powder the hair
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton:
      A circling zone thou seest / Powdered with stars.
  3. (intransitive) To use powder on the hair or skin.
    She paints and powders.
  4. (intransitive) To be reduced to powder; to become like powder.
    Some salts powder easily.
  5. (transitive) To sprinkle with salt; to corn, as meat.



See also[edit]