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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Sephora's Sun Safety Kit, which launches on April 23, is bursting with 12 skin-care minis from a wide array of beloved brands like Dr. Jart+, Shiseido, Murad, and Drunk Elephant. Alexis Rhiannon, Allure, "Sephora’s New Sun Safety Kit Is Filled With Your Summer SPF Essentials," 23 Apr. 2019 This rare stand-alone version is bursting with flavors of black cherry, ripe plum, blackberry syrup and whispers of complex spices. Andy Perdue, The Seattle Times, "DeLille Cellars’ 2015 Harrison Hill is Andy Perdue’s Wine of the Year," 26 Oct. 2018 The black was an outlier, though; most of Hu’s dresses are bursting with color. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Caroline Hu Is Our First Discovery of NYFW—And Her Dresses Belong at the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2019 Both are bursting with sights to see, things to eat, and local craft beer to drink. Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Houston," 12 Oct. 2018 More in Logistics As shoppers increasingly go online to make purchases of all kinds, from groceries to apparel to furniture, logistics networks are bursting at the seams. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Warehouse Space Growing Tighter on Rising E-Commerce Demands," 11 Oct. 2018 Nevertheless, the Twitterverse was bursting with questions on the ensemble. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Melania Trump sports pricey Gucci coat to welcome Polish president," 19 Sep. 2018 Let your joy burst forth, like flowers in the spring. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "35 Spring Instagram Captions for All of Your Sunny Photos," 26 Mar. 2019 Roofs can get damaged, pipes can burst, windows can crack, toilets can explode, and yes, even doors can freeze. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying Exterior Doors," 19 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In California, a burst of vegetation from rains could serve as fuel in the dry summer months and heighten the wildfire danger in some areas, forecasters say. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "As Hurricane, Fire Seasons Approach, More People Likely to Be in Harm’s Way," 9 May 2019 In another possible example of AI weapons release, the turret immediately swivels in the direction of the missile fire and fires a burst. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Crazy Ad for an Israeli Future Tank Is Something Else," 12 Mar. 2019 Two aquamarine sofas anchor the living space and provide a rich burst of color in the otherwise subdued loft. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Rent this cozy loft that doubles as a furniture showroom," 27 Dec. 2018 Google This feature also taps into a burst of multiple images, and then uses Google’s Pixel Visual Core chip to composite a blur-free photo. Jon Phillips, PCWorld, "Google Pixel 3: The 5 features that matter most," 9 Oct. 2018 At the same time, Colombia experienced a burst in online video consumption, according to Google data. Rebekah F. Ward, The Christian Science Monitor, "How laughter brought more voters to the polls in Colombia," 3 July 2018 But the crunchy turkey meatball delivered particularly delectable texture, along with hearty flavor from ricotta and a burst of chili. Tim Smith, baltimoresun.com, "Giada De Laurentiis' new restaurant in Horseshoe Casino Baltimore serves up appealing flavors," 28 June 2018 The historic feat comes at a time when black songwriters are also experiencing a burst of success on Country Airplay, a chart generally dominated by contributions from white songwriters. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Room At The Top: Kane Brown, Darius Rucker And Minority Songwriters On Diversity in Country Music," 13 June 2018 But that quickly changed, as Flanagan used a late burst to push past Kiprop and win by less than a half-second. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan runner asks 'Where's my mom?' after NCAA title win, goes viral," 9 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about burst

Statistics for burst

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burst

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on burst

What made you want to look up burst? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!