\ 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The man immediately gave the ball to the kid, who burst into tears and hugged him. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 Mariupol resident Valentina Fiodorovna, 79, was one of several elderly women who burst into tears on arrival. NBC News, 3 May 2022 The 6-3, 205-pound wideout is a big target who burst onto the scene as a freshman, catching 46 passes for 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. Ryan Mcfadden, Baltimore Sun, 30 Apr. 2022 Thom Browne alum Jackson Wiederhoeft, who burst onto the bridal scene not only with an innovative vision and some of the most unique wedding looks out there but also during a pandemic summer of 2020. Fawnia Soo Hoo, refinery29.com, 14 Apr. 2022 The decision comes after a season in which Dart burst onto the scene as a freshman, establishing enough of a foothold as USC’s quarterback of the future to convince Kedon Slovis, the Trojans’ three-year starter, to transfer to Pittsburgh. San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Jan. 2022 The decision was also made in concert with the mother of Lasondra Shaw, who was shot to death on June 29, 2007 by two men who burst into her North Chicago apartment firing guns. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, 21 Dec. 2021 The 6-foot, 290-pound Choloh came into the season with most of the accolades, but it’s Jibunor and Solomon who have burst onto the scene in 2021. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 4 Nov. 2021 The most shocked reaction of the night was easily Carly Pearce, who burst into tears when she was announced as female vocalist of the year. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These extraordinarily generous policies are at least partly responsible for the current burst of inflation — the most serious episode of rising prices since the 1980s. New York Times, 6 May 2022 There is the potential for a heavy burst of snow in the morning. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Choose one that isn’t overly sweet for a gently pyrotechnic burst of citrus to set the heart racing. Aleksandra Crapanzano, WSJ, 2 Feb. 2022 In addition to dressing for a burst of serotonin, the return of award show red carpets in 2021, is a major driving force in popularising Bratz-like styles. Jenn Barthole, refinery29.com, 20 Dec. 2021 Extraordinary defensive play has been the impetus for Kansas City's six-game burst. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 15 Dec. 2021 Roasting grapes, especially in-season Concords, makes for an incredibly deep and surprising burst of flavor — and pairs well with cheese — to the overall dish. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Oct. 2021 This acts as a screen for the occasional burst of Tal Rosner’s black-and-white video footage of healthy-looking children, but more often serves as an elegant symbol of the woods where the camp is set. David Benedict, Variety, 17 Sep. 2021 Cornell Hatcher ran for a 59-yard burst up the middle that gave the Huskies the lead for good, 21-14, with 5:03 left in the third quarter. Steve Galluzzo, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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


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


derivative of burst entry 1

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Time Traveler for burst

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

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Last Updated

28 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Burst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burst. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for burst


\ 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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