Definition of touchpaper in English:

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touchpaper

Pronunciation: /ˈtəCHˌpāpər/

noun

1A strip of paper impregnated with niter, for lighting fireworks or explosive substances.
Example sentences
  • At the time the first touchpaper was scheduled to be lit, cars were still queueing bumper to bumper on Netherhampton Road.
  • Light the blue touchpaper, and retire to a safe distance.
  • And he can light the blue touchpaper on a Roman Candle, but it may be impossible to tell whether the ensuing two second fizzing is the intended special effect or a product malfunction.
1.1Used in reference to an action that is likely to cause anger or controversy: it was an intervention by the umpire that lit the blue touchpaper
More example sentences
  • By contrast, now I just sit there and wait for the magic word to set off the blue touchpaper.
  • It was those last words that finally lit the blue touchpaper.
  • I like to think that I am not unduly irritated by life, but the last week has finally lit my personal touchpaper.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: touch·pa·per

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