GRENADE (from the French word for a pomegranate, from a resemblance in shape to that fruit), a small spherical explosive vessel thrown by hand. Hand-grenades were used in war in the 16th century, but the word " grenade " was also from the first used to imply an explosive shell fired from a gun; this survives to the present day in the German Granate. These weapons were employed after about 1660, by special troops called " grenadiers " (q.v.), and in the wars of the 17th and 18th centuries they are continually met with. They became obsolete in the 19th century, but were given a new lease of life in the 20th, owing to their employment in the siege of Port Arthur in 1904, where hand-grenades of a modern type, and containing powerful modern explosives, proved very effective (see AMMUNITION, Shell). Hand-grenades filled with chemicals and made of glass are used as a method of fire-extinction, and similar vessels containing a liquid with a very strong smell are used to discover defects in a drain or sewer.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)