A grenade is a small bomb typically thrown by hand. A variety of hand grenades exist, the most common being explosive grenades designed to detonate after impact or after a set amount of time. Originally, Grenadiers were the soldiers who specialised in throwing grenades.
Grenade, meaning "small explosive shell," was thrown rather than discharged from a cannon, comes from Old French grenate and later from 16th century Middle French pomegranate. The multi-seeded fruit suggested similarities to the powder-filled, fragmenting bomb. The term was used extensively during the 17th century, phasing out out of use by the 18th century. It saw a revival in the 20th century, especially during the First and Second World Wars. Its first use in English dates from the 1590s.
References / notes
- Grenade Online Etymology Dictionary. Accessed 21 April, 2017.
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