any ester of nitric acid and cellulose; esp., a pulplike substance produced by the action of nitric acid upon wood, cotton, etc. in the presence of concentrated sulfuric acid: used in making smokeless explosives, plastics, lacquers, etc.
Any of various pulpy or cottonlike polymers derived from cellulose treated with nitric and sulfuric acids and used in the manufacture of explosives, lacquers, collodion, celluloid, plastics, and solid monopropellants. Physical properties and use vary with varying nitrogen content of the substance. Also called cellulose nitrate, guncotton, pyroxylin.