trinitrotoluene or TNT (trĪˌnĪˌtrōtŏlˈyōēn) [key], CH3C6H2(NO2)3, crystalline, aromatic compound that melts at 81°C. It is prepared by the nitration of toluene. Trinitrotoluene is a high explosive, but, unlike nitroglycerin, it is unaffected by ordinary shocks and jarring, and must be set off by a detonator. Because it does not react with metals, it can be used in filling metal shells. It is often mixed with other explosives, e.g., with ammonium nitrate to form amatol.