1) N-VAR An explosive is a substance or device that can cause an explosion.

...one-hundred-and-fifty pounds of Semtex explosive...

There were traces of explosives in the bedroom.

2) ADJ-GRADED Something that is explosive is capable of causing an explosion.

The explosive device was timed to go off at the rush hour...

Highly explosive gas is naturally found in coal mines.

Derived words:
explosively ADV ADV adj, ADV after v

Hydrogen is explosively flammable when mixed with oxygen.

3) ADJ-GRADED An explosive growth is a sudden, rapid increase in the size or quantity of something.

The explosive growth in casinos is one of the most conspicuous signs of Westernisation.

Derived words:
explosively ADV-GRADED ADV after v, ADV adj

These transactions grew explosively in the early 1980s.

4) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n An explosive situation is likely to have difficult, serious, or dangerous effects.

He appeared to be treating the potentially explosive situation with some sensitivity...

Nobody knows what explosive arguments the future of Europe will bring.

Derived words:
explosively ADV-GRADED ADV after v

A referendum next year would coincide explosively with the election campaign.

5) ADJ-GRADED If you describe someone as explosive, you mean that they tend to express sudden violent anger.

She was unpredictable, explosive, impulsive and easily distracted...

He's inherited his father's explosive temper.

Derived words:
explosively ADV ADV after v, ADV adj

`Are you mad?' David asked explosively.

6) ADJ-GRADED A sudden loud noise can be described as explosive.

He made a loud, explosive noise of disgust.

...an explosive drumbeat.

Derived words:
explosively ADV ADV adj, ADV after v

The sound of her own chewing and swallowing were explosively loud.

English dictionary. 2008.