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any mass of fine particles or dust prepared by various mechanical means, e.g., grinding of solid substances, or by chemical means, e.g., precipitation from solutions. In a special sense, the word is applied to powdered propellant explosives, e.g., gunpowder, and to powdered substances that produce a bright light when ignited. See explosiveexplosive,
substance that undergoes decomposition or combustion with great rapidity, evolving much heat and producing a large volume of gas. The reaction products fill a much greater volume than that occupied by the original material and exert an enormous pressure, which can be
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a finely ground solid, a dispersed free-flowing material.

Powder is formed by dispersion of solids and by separation of the solid dispersed phase from supersaturated solutions or vapors. The manufacture of highly dispersed powders usually involves such substances as softening solutions, dispersing agents, and stabilizers. These facilitate pulverizing and prevent the agglutination of fine particles. Particle size in powders may vary from 10-4 to 10-1 mm. Powders with particles of identical size are called monodisperse powders, and those with particles of varying size are known as polydisperse powders. Fine powders, especially hygroscopic types, are subject to lumping and caking. Highly dispersed dry powder carried off by a gas or air flow becomes dust. Powder moistened with a liquid forms a paste or dough, and when powder is rapidly agitated in a sufficiently large volume of liquid, a suspension is produced.

Many types of commercial products are manufactured and used in powder form. They include materials used in metallurgy and silicate technology; mineral binders, fillers, and pigments; ingredients for plastics, rubbers, paints, and explosives; fertilizers and pesticides; detergents; food products; and medications. Products in powder form are often granulated or compressed into tablets to ensure convenience in handling and to reduce loss and improve sanitation.


Voiutskii, S. S. Kurs kolloidnoi khimii. Moscow, 1964. Page 374.




a friable solid form of medicine used internally or externally. Various synthetic preparations, antibiotics, and substances of plant and animal origin are used in powder form. The following substances are not prescribed as a powder: hygroscopic substances, such as calcium chloride and sodium bromide; mixtures of substances that are fluidized upon exposure to the air, such as phenylsalicylate and bromo-camphor or antipyrine and quinine; substances that easily decompose, such as silver nitrate mixed with organic matter; or substances that form explosive mixtures. Powders may be simple (consisting of a single substance) or compound; they can be divided or not divided into individual doses.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A general term for explosives.
A loose grouping or aggregation of solid particles, usually smaller than 1000 micrometers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles
2. any of various preparations in this form, such as gunpowder, face powder, or soap powder
3. fresh loose snow, esp when considered as skiing terrain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
However, in the 1900s, the Massachusetts handbag manufacturer Whiting & Davis, responded to the need to carry face powder, rouge and even tiny combs by incorporating compartments in the lid of the hinged, silk-lined metal mesh bags that were popular at the time.
Like-for-like sales rose 7.8% and customers "continued to be influenced by celebrities", the firm said, with the best-selling product last year being a banana face powder used by Ms Kardashian.
The collection includes pressed foundation, loose eye powder, pressed face powder with a sun protection factor of 15, and a loose finishing powder.
Celebrity makeup artist Jillian Dempsey has teamed with Avon and took on the role of global creative color director with her first order of business being the launch of Spring Style 2007 Sheer Color Collection, a seasonal collection available for two months that includes a face powder, brush, lipsticks, lipglosses, nail polish and eye shadows.
Lachowicz also made use of face powder and eye shadow, but lipstick and appropriation were her signature material and method.
Containing eight serum masks, loose face powder, dusky rose pink lip gloss, face colour powder, blotting paper compact, four satin wrist ribbons with printed blessings, and a Kiss & Tell booklet with message strips to tear off and offer your loved ones, it costs pounds 93.50 and is available at Fenwick (020 7629 9161) and Harrods (020 7730 1234
To give off or become permeated with a strong, unpleasant odor: 'Grandma, who reeks of face powder and lilac water.'" (AHD 3)
com; Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Face Powder, PS12, www.soapandglory.com TREAT YOURSELF If you're splashing out, you can't go wrong with Nars, Kiehl's and YSL.
Keep the creamy lipstick from running by setting it with your regular face powder.
Cakes, buns and celebratory refreshments were also enjoyed, while a memory box borrowed from the National Mining Museum themed on evenings out gave residents the opportunity to look at items from their past such as tram tickets, face powder and beer bottles.
What could be more fitting than adorning a woman's face powder and fragrance--two beauty items deeply ingrained in her daily beauty routine?
There's a reason Corn Silk Loose Face Powder Original Satin, PS8.16, Boots has been a favourite since the 1960s.