powder

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

powder (countable and uncountable, plural powders)

  1. The fine particles which are the result of reducing dry substance by pounding, grinding, or triturating, or the result of 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]

Translations[edit]

Verb[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.
    • 25 October 2016, Bettina Elias Siegel writing in New York Times, Should the Food Industry Sneak Vegetables Into Food?
      In desperation, they dried fruits and vegetables in an old food dehydrator they had, then used their coffee grinder to powder the produce...
  2. (transitive) To sprinkle with powder, or as if with powder.
    to powder one's hair
  3. (intransitive) To use powder on the hair or skin.
    • 1778-1787, Frances Burney, The Diary and Letters of Madame D'Arblay
      If she is grave, and reads steadily on, she dismisses me, whether I am dressed or not; but at all times she never forgets to send me away while she is powdering, with a consideration not to spoil my clothes
  4. (intransitive) To turn into powder; to become powdery.
    • 1934, Edward Knight, The Clinical Journal Volume 63
      Ample evidence is brought forward to show that the higher incidence of chronic interstitial nephritis in Queensland is due to lead paint on the verandahs and railings of the houses, which powders easily during the long Australian summer.
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To sprinkle with salt; to corn, as meat.

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