\ ˈbərst How to pronounce burst (audio) \
burst also bursted; bursting

Definition of burst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to break open, apart, or into pieces usually from impact or from pressure from within the balloon burst the pipes burst
2a : to give way from an excess of emotion my heart will burst
b : to give vent suddenly to a repressed emotion burst into tears burst out laughing
3a : to emerge or spring suddenly burst out of the house burst onto the scene burst into flames
b : launch, plunge burst into song
4 : to be filled to the breaking point bursting with excitement a crate bursting with fruit

transitive verb

1 : to cause to burst burst a balloon
2a : to force open (something, such as a door or a way) by strong or vigorous action
b : to flood over the river burst its banks
3 : to produce by or as if by bursting
burst at the seams
: to be larger, fuller, or more crowded than could reasonably have been anticipated



Definition of burst (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a sudden outbreak a burst of flames especially : a vehement outburst (as of emotion)
b : explosion, eruption a burst of violence
c : a sudden intense effort a burst of speed
d : the duration of fire in one engagement of the mechanism of an automatic firearm bursts of machine-gun fire
2 : an act of bursting the burst of a bubble a burst of confidence
3 : a result of bursting had the plumber fix the burst especially, firearms : a visible puff accompanying the explosion of a shell (see shell entry 1 sense 9b)

Synonyms & Antonyms for burst

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of burst in a Sentence

Verb Two of the water pipes burst. He burst a blood vessel. The doors suddenly burst open. The cops burst the door open. He burst into the room. The sun burst through the clouds. She burst through the door and yelled “Surprise!”. Noun She ran hard in short bursts toward the end of the race. the burst of a bubble
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The National Weather Service in New York said pipes can freeze quickly or burst. Omar Abdel-baqui, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2022 Tess nosed into a thick pocket of cover toward the field's lower end and a rooster burst in front of me. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Jan. 2022 Nearly 14 seconds later, one of the officers returns to help Jones, just after Jones' hair catches fire and burst in flames and his head is seen engulfed. Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN, 8 Jan. 2022 Then, as agents burst into the room, Reid flew into a rage and began choking the man. Grayson Quay, The Week, 8 Jan. 2022 Numerous businesses remained closed Wednesday due to wind damage or burst pipes. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Jan. 2022 One of Gowdy’s sergeants, Aquilino Gonell, a 42-year-old veteran of the war in Iraq, who was close by, unable to move from his position lest the crowd burst through, heard the taunts and was chilled to the bone. New York Times, 4 Jan. 2022 Perry flashed her abs while wearing a matching face mask, and gleefully performed on stage as confetti burst overhead. Janine Puhak, PEOPLE.com, 3 Jan. 2022 But whenever there are SPACs there are warnings that the SPAC bubble will surely burst. Amanda Shendruk, Quartz, 24 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Then Golden, Bolden, Nze and Bolden again made 3s as Butler opened the second half on a 21-6 burst. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Jan. 2022 When the employee turned back to face Gionet, the livestreamer sprayed a second burst into his eyes and face. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, 14 Jan. 2022 By the time Trump burst on the scene in the summer of 2015, the traditionalist right had nearly given in to outright despair, even in public, with many moving into a purely defensive position. Damon Linker, The Week, 11 Jan. 2022 After nearly a year of concerted effort to tame the pandemic, Mr. Biden is facing an exhausted public and a new burst of alarming headlines. New York Times, 11 Jan. 2022 The Roadrunners received a burst off the bench when Lamin Sabally checked in, using a 6-0 run to take their first lead of the game. Zach Mason, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Jan. 2022 There’s the possibility of a brief burst of heavy snow between about 1 and 3 a.m., falling at the clip of about an inch an hour, limiting visibility and making travel difficult. Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2022 Officers got out of their patrol cars and fired a burst of shots at Kokhanevych from less than 15 feet away, the witness said. oregonlive, 5 Jan. 2022 Sewell was not alone in his Covey fandom after the latter burst onto the scene in 2015 as a Freshman All-American punt returner and receiver. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of burst


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for burst

Verb and Noun

Middle English bersten, from Old English berstan; akin to Old High German brestan to burst

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Time Traveler for burst

Time Traveler

The first known use of burst was before the 12th century

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Statistics for burst

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Burst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burst. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for burst



English Language Learners Definition of burst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to break open or into pieces in a sudden and violent way
: to cause (something) to break open or into pieces
: to open suddenly



English Language Learners Definition of burst (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short period of producing or doing something that begins suddenly
: an act of breaking open or into pieces : the result of something breaking open or into pieces


\ ˈbərst How to pronounce burst (audio) \
burst; bursting

Kids Definition of burst

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to break open or in pieces (as by an explosion from within) bombs bursting in air buds bursting open
2 : to suddenly show emotion He burst into tears.
3 : to come or go suddenly He burst into the room.
4 : to be filled to the maximum The puppy is bursting with energy.



Kids Definition of burst (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden release or effort a burst of laughter a burst of energy

More from Merriam-Webster on burst

Nglish: Translation of burst for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burst for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about burst


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