burst

verb
\ 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

burst

noun

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)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for burst

Synonyms: Verb

blow, blow up, crump, detonate, explode, go off, pop

Synonyms: Noun

flare, flare-up, flash, flicker, flurry, flutter, outbreak, outburst, spurt

Antonyms: Verb

implode

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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

Kaleb Hymes bent backward for a back-breaking, over-the-shoulder grab and 68-yard score, and Josh White burst through the Rockets’ front line for a 5-yard touchdown run. Jason Mcdaniel, ExpressNews.com, "Judson delivers a victory in Rodney Williams’ head coaching debut.," 31 Aug. 2019 Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us. Sharareh Drury, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Pays Tribute to Valerie Harper," 31 Aug. 2019 Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Ed Asner, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Topher Grace, and more pay tribute to Valerie Harper," 31 Aug. 2019 Kaleb Hymes bent backward for a back-breaking, over-the-shoulder grab and 68-yard score, and Josh White burst through the Rockets’ front line for a 5-yard touchdown run. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Converse Judson downs Clear Springs in coach Rodney Williams' debut," 31 Aug. 2019 Dillon burst through the curtain as a freshman in 2017, smashing records and establishing himself as one of the premier running backs in the ACC. Julian Benbow, BostonGlobe.com, "BC is about to kick off its season — here’s what to look for," 30 Aug. 2019 Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us. Washington Post, "Reaction to the death of actress Valerie Harper," 30 Aug. 2019 Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "Hollywood pays tribute to 'great friend' Valerie Harper," 30 Aug. 2019 Pope had just finished spectacularly in the Chargers’ 19-17 loss to New Orleans, catching a second-quarter punt and then bursting through and around various Saints for an 81-yard touchdown return. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Can Troymaine Pope finally cut it with Chargers after years of falling short in NFL?," 19 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yet Heller’s emigration to Australia in 1977 was followed by an enormous burst of theoretical productivity. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Agnes Heller, Hungarian Philosopher and Outspoken Dissident, Dies at 90," 30 July 2019 The jokes were either presented with no laughter, followed by a short burst of distinctly fake or forced laughter or by short, spontaneous real laughs. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ha-ha! Study Shows Laugh Tracks Make Dad Jokes Funnier," 25 July 2019 Holland America's Eurodam can be seen sailing right next to a group of whales, indicated by a several bursts of water from their blowholes, according to a Twitter video posted by user @Kidd_In_Action. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "Holland America cruise ship's close contact with humpback whales under investigation," 27 June 2019 Johnson has the burst and vision to be one of the NFL’s best rushers, but making PFF’s list is about more than yards (Tarik Cohen was No. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions need more top-100 players. Here's who could get there," 3 Aug. 2019 Dealmaking and boom-time arms races are back — as witnessed by a burst of expansion plans such as JPMorgan’s push into new states and its InstaMed Inc. takeover, the bank’s biggest purchase since the financial crisis. Michelle F. Davis, latimes.com, "Trump removed Wall Street’s secret shackles. Now banks are prowling for deals," 11 July 2019 The other business was an airplane rental company called, in a burst of apparent creativity, Arizona Aircraft Rentals. Richard Ruelas, AZCentral.com, "Lost to Time From the Don Bolles files: Murder and the drug ring's pot plane," 9 July 2019 The light from Riis’s flash powder revealed the nooks and crannies of poverty, the chiaroscuro of dirt and bedraggled cloth on skin illuminated by a burst of fire from the gizmo that shocked the subjects being photographed. Marlo Safi, National Review, "A Raw Look at the New ‘Other Half’," 29 June 2019 The metamorphosis brought by the burst of the monsoon is profound. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019

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

Verb

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

Noun

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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Statistics for burst

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burst

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

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More Definitions for burst

burst

verb

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

burst

noun

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

burst

verb
\ 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.

burst

noun

Kids Definition of burst (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on burst

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burst

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burst

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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