burst

1 of 2

verb

burst also bursted; bursting

intransitive verb

1
: to break open, apart, or into pieces usually from impact or from pressure from within
the balloon burst
the pipes burst
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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)
Phrases
burst at the seams
: to be larger, fuller, or more crowded than could reasonably have been anticipated

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
For sure, the kind of violent, broad momentum burst by most smaller stocks is unlikely to be a pure fluke. Michael Santoli, CNBC, 13 July 2024 The Falcon 9's only total in-flight launch failure occurred on its 19th flight on June 28, 2015, when the upper stage's liquid oxygen tank burst a couple of minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 12 July 2024
Noun
The pops came in pairs, a burst of five or six total. Jabin Botsford, Washington Post, 14 July 2024 And as many have pointed out, Michelin inspectors tend to reward consistent excellence over erratic bursts of brilliance. Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 13 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for burst 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'burst.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

derivative of burst entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near burst

Cite this Entry

“Burst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burst. Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

burst

1 of 2 verb
burst; bursting
1
a
: to break open or in pieces (as by an explosion from within)
the balloon burst
buds bursting open
b
: to cause to burst
2
a
: to suddenly show one's feelings
burst into tears
b
: to begin to do something suddenly
burst into song
3
: to come or go suddenly
burst into the room
4
: to be filled to the breaking point
just bursting with energy

burst

2 of 2 noun
1
: a sudden release or effort
a burst of speed
2
: a firing of many shots at the same time

More from Merriam-Webster on burst

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