powerful explosive consisting of a mixture of nitroglycerine with an absorbent, 1867, from Swedish dynamit, coined 1867 by its inventor, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), from Greek dynamis "power" (see dynamic (adj.)) + -ite (2). Figurative sense of "something potentially dangerous" is from 1922. Positive sense of "dynamic and excellent" by mid-1960s, perhaps originally African-American vernacular.
type of astronomical telescope lens used for photography, 1939, named for Estonian-born German optician Bernhard Voldemar Schmidt (1879-1935), who is said to have invented it.
motorcar brand first marketed 1926 after merger of two earlier companies. The first part of the name, Mercedes, marketed as a car name from 1901, was chosen by Austrian manufacturer Emil Jellinek for his daughter, Mercedes (1889-1929). The Benz is from the other company, from name of Karl Benz, creator of the Benz Patent Motorwagen (1886). The surname is built from a familiar form of Berthold,
Benedict, or Bernhard.