detonate

verb
det·​o·​nate | \ ˈde-tᵊn-ˌāt How to pronounce detonate (audio) , ˈde-tə-ˌnāt\
detonated; detonating

Definition of detonate

intransitive verb

: to explode with sudden violence

transitive verb

1 : to cause to detonate detonate a bomb — compare deflagrate
2 : to set off in a burst of activity : spark programs that detonated controversies

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Other Words from detonate

detonatable \ -​ˌā-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce detonatable (audio) , -​ˌnā-​ \ adjective
detonative \ ˈde-​tᵊn-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce detonative (audio) , ˈde-​tə-​ˌnā-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for detonate

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

implode

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Examples of detonate in a Sentence

The first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945. the bomb detonated with a thunder that could be heard for blocks in all directions

Recent Examples on the Web

Bomb squad members detonated one of the devices and, as of 4:45 p.m., were still investigating the other three, said Los Angeles Police Sgt. Alene Tchekmedyian, latimes.com, "Possible explosives found during traffic stop in Woodland Hills, spurring evacuations," 21 May 2018 The soldier grabbed Nayeb, who detonated an explosive vest beneath his clothes. Russ Bynum, The Seattle Times, "US soldier wounded in suicide attack sues bomber’s employer," 20 Feb. 2019 The bomb had already been detonated by Slimane, who took the reins in 2012 and radically changed almost every aspect of the brand. Alexandra Marshall, WSJ, "Exclusive: Step Inside YSL’s New Parisian Headquarters," 15 Feb. 2019 At least 17 people have died after a tear-gas canister was detonated inside a nightclub in Caracas, Venezuela on Saturday, June 16, CNN reports. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Tear-Gas Explosion Causes Stampede at Venezuela Nightclub," 17 June 2018 Within seconds, the rocket, packed with solid rocket fuel, detonated in an ear-shattering concussion. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 And in August, explosives that were carried by drones detonated near Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro in what the country’s government said was an assassination attempt. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "New York Police Seek Authority to Take Down Drones," 17 Feb. 2019 The chain of events in Jordan began Friday when assailants detonated a homemade bomb under a police car guarding a music festival in the predominantly Christian town of Fuheis, west of the capital, Amman. Alice Su, Fox News, "Suspects in latest Jordan attack are homegrown militants," 13 Aug. 2018 The chain of events in Jordan began Friday when assailants detonated a homemade bomb under a police car guarding a music festival in the predominantly Christian town of Fuheis, west of the capital, Amman. Alice Su, The Seattle Times, "Suspects in latest Jordan attack are homegrown militants," 13 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detonate.' 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 detonate

1729, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for detonate

French détoner to explode, from Latin detonare to expend thunder, from de- + tonare to thunder — more at thunder entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near detonate

detn

detonable

detonatability

detonate

detonation

detonator

detort

Statistics for detonate

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for detonate

The first known use of detonate was in 1729

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More Definitions for detonate

detonate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of detonate

: to explode or to cause (something, such as a bomb) to explode

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More from Merriam-Webster on detonate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detonate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detonate

Spanish Central: Translation of detonate

Nglish: Translation of detonate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detonate for Arabic Speakers

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