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.
See nitrocellulose in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A pulpy or cottonlike polymer derived from cellulose treated with sulfuric and nitric acids and used in the manufacture of explosives, collodion, plastics, and solid monopropellants. Also called guncotton, cellulose nitrate.