AskDefine | Define fulminate

Dictionary Definition

fulminate n : a salt or ester of fulminic acid

Verb

1 criticize severely; "He fulminated against the Republicans' plan to cut Medicare"; "She railed against the bad social policies" [syn: rail]
2 come on suddenly and intensely; "the disease fulminated"
3 cause to explode violently and with loud noise

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

fulminare, to strike like lightning

Pronunciation

  • /fʌlˈmɪn.eɪt/ /fVl"mIn.eIt/ a UK

Noun

  1. Any salt or ester of fulminic acid; mostly explosive.

Verb

  1. To detonate or explode, or to cause something to detonate.
  2. intransitive figurative To make a verbal attack.
  3. transitive figurative To issue a denunciation.

Italian

Verb

fulminate
  1. Form of Second-person plural present tense, fulminare
  2. Form of Second-person plural imperative, fulminare#Italian|fulminare

Extensive Definition

Fulminates are chemical compounds which include the fulminate ion. The fulminate ion is a pseudohalic ion, acting like a halogen with its charge and reactivity. Due to the instability of the ion, they are friction-sensitive explosives. The best known is mercury fulminate which has been used as a primary explosive in detonators. Fulminates can be formed from metals, like silver and mercury, dissolved in nitric acid and reacted with alcohol. The chemical formula for the fulminate ion is ON+C−. It is largely the presence of the weak single nitrogen-oxygen bond which leads to its instability. Nitrogen very easily forms a stable triple bond to another nitrogen atom, forming gaseous nitrogen.

Historical notes

Fulminates were discovered by Edward Charles Howard in 1800.. Their use in firearms in a fulminating powder was first demonstrated by a Scottish minister, A. J. Forsyth, who was granted a patent in 1807. Joshua Shaw then made the transition to their use in metallic encapsulations, to form a percussion cap, but did not patent his invention until 1822.
In the 1820s, the organic chemist Justus Liebig discovered silver fulminate (Ag-CNO) and Friedrich Wöhler discovered silver cyanate (Ag-NCO). The fact that these substances have the same chemical composition led to an acrid dispute, which was not resolved until Jöns Jakob Berzelius came up with the concept of isomers.

Compounds

References

fulminate in Croatian: Fulminati
fulminate in Portuguese: Fulminato

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

backfire, bang, bark, blast, blow out, blow up, burst, bust, coal, crack, detonate, discharge, explode, feed, fill up, fire, fuel, fuel up, go off, let off, oil, pop, refuel, set off, shoot, stoke, top off, touch off
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