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ex·plo·sive / ikˈsplōsiv/ • adj. able or likely to shatter violently or burst apart, as when a bomb explodes: an explosive device. ∎  likely to cause an eruption of anger or controversy: the idea was politically explosive. ∎  of or relating to a sudden and dramatic increase in amount or extent: the explosive growth of personal computers in the 1980s. ∎  (of a vocal sound) produced with a sharp release of air. • n. (often explosives) a substance that can be made to explode, esp. any of those used in bombs or shells. DERIVATIVES: ex·plo·sive·ly adv. ex·plo·sive·ness n.

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explosiveimpassive, massive, passive •expansive •aggressive, compressive, concessive, degressive, depressive, digressive, excessive, expressive, impressive, obsessive, oppressive, possessive, progressive, recessive, regressive, repressive, retrogressive, successive, transgressive •reflexive •apprehensive, coextensive, comprehensive, defensive, expensive, extensive, intensive, offensive, ostensive, pensive, suspensive •counteroffensive •abrasive, evasive, invasive, persuasive, pervasive •adhesive, cohesive •missive, omissive, permissive, submissive •decisive, derisive, divisive, incisive •irresponsive, responsive •corrosive, explosive, implosive, plosive •abusive, allusive, collusive, conclusive, conducive, delusive, diffusive, effusive, elusive, exclusive, illusive, inclusive, intrusive, obtrusive, preclusive, reclusive, seclusive •percussive •compulsive, convulsive, impulsive, propulsive, repulsive •purposive •coercive, cursive, excursive, subversive

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explosive Substances that react rapidly and violently, emitting heat, light, sound, and shock waves. Chemical explosives are mostly highly nitrated compounds or mixtures that are unstable and decompose violently with the evolution of much gas. Nuclear explosives are radioactive metals, the atoms of which can undergo nuclear fission or fusion to release radiant energy and devastating shock waves.

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