\ 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)

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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 Mejia is a rising college freshman who works with the Sunrise Coalition, a group of youth climate activists that burst onto the national stage during protests on Capitol Hill in support of the Green New Deal. Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News, "Why youth climate change activists are pushing Biden to do more," 21 Apr. 2021 So often, beings had to die to be reborn, like the phoenix, the ancient bird that burst into flames and then rose from the ashes. New York Times, "A Window Into a Changed America," 17 Apr. 2021 Some analysts worry that Dogecoin is in a bubble that will eventually burst. Palash Ghosh, Forbes, "Dogecoin Skyrockets To All-Time Highs Reaching $52.2 Billion Market Cap As Robinhood App Reports Outage Issues Due To Heavy Cryptocurrency Trading," 16 Apr. 2021 Three weeks later, Bexar County’s Facilities Management Department is still cleaning up the water damage from a pipe that burst in the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center during the crippling winter storm that shut down most of the city. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, "'It smells': Bexar County courts still cleaning up areas damaged by water during winter freeze," 9 Mar. 2021 Nearly a month ago, frigid temperatures became problematic across the state, leaving many Texans without power and causing widespread damage from pipes that burst. Dallas News, "North Texas schools race to finish winter storm repairs before students return from spring break," 8 Mar. 2021 The brutal winter weather across the South over Valentine’s Day weekend battered multiple states, with Texas bearing the brunt of unseasonably frigid conditions that caused widespread power outages and frozen pipes that burst and flooded homes. Darlene Superville, chicagotribune.com, "President Biden heads to Texas to survey storm damage, visit food bank," 26 Feb. 2021 To some market watchers, the booming IPO market is part of a bubble in hot assets that will eventually burst. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Red-Hot Stock Market Pushes More Companies to Go Public," 25 Feb. 2021 The flooding was the result of a pipe that burst during the previous week’s snowstorms and frigid temperatures, the release states. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, "Museum animals move to Little Rock Zoo during repairs," 25 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The most intense burst of wind swept through the region between about 4 and 5:30 p.m. as cold front crossed the region. Washington Post, "Friday’s windstorm and its 60 mph gusts were remarkable for late April in Washington," 1 May 2021 Doncic, though, accounted for the most offensive burst. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Luka Doncic and ‘pissed off’ Mavs turn 28-0 run vs. Warriors into dominant, playoff-strengthening win," 27 Apr. 2021 Pavin Smith and David Peralta homered during the burst. George Henry, ajc, "Bumgarner pitches 7-inning no-hitter, Arizona sweeps Braves," 26 Apr. 2021 It’s a new industry, and many expect the initial burst of excitement to fade. New York Times, "We’re All Crypto People Now," 25 Apr. 2021 Pavin Smith and David Peralta homered during the burst. George Henry, Star Tribune, "Bumgarner pitches 7-inning no-hitter, Arizona sweeps Braves," 25 Apr. 2021 Jeremiah said Jones, who had 41 touchdown passes and four interceptions last season while directing Alabama to a 13-0 record, is just an average athlete for the position and will lack the burst to escape from NFL pass rushers. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "49ers-Mac Jones scenario is real (and not ideal), says Daniel Jeremiah," 23 Apr. 2021 However, the burst of the dot-com bubble at the time left few available jobs in Wall Street or the Silicon Valley. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "How Brandon Schneider went from waiter to Warriors president and COO," 18 Apr. 2021 Before the housing bubble burst, that demand would have been easier to meet. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "America Is Short of Home Builders as Well as Homes," 16 Apr. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Burst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burst. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

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Comments on burst

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