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

Synonyms & Antonyms for detonate



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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 It was detonated on the morning of March 1, 1954, and was 1,000 times more powerful than either of the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. Susanne Rust,, "Radioactivity in parts of the Marshall Islands is far higher than Chernobyl, study says," 15 July 2019 Moments later, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated outside the entrance to the event, a quarter-mile away, killing 26 people and wounding more than 30. Washington Post, "Taliban suicide bombers strike Kabul and rally for Afghan president, killing at least 48," 17 Sep. 2019 An army vehicle near the fence was lightly damaged, but the IDF did not specify if the explosive detonated. Fox News, "Rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza following Israeli aircraft strike for drone 'attack'," 9 Sep. 2019 On Monday, a major explosion rocked the city of Achinsk in Siberia after a fire detonated a 40,000 shell stockpile of munitions at a military storage facility. Matthew Bodner, NBC News, "Blast at Russian military base kills 2 service members, injures 4 more, officials say," 8 Aug. 2019 Explosive devices were found or detonated at least six locations, including two at stations of the capital’s elevated Skytrain rail system. Time, "Thai Prime Minister Orders Investigation Into Bangkok Blasts That Injured Four People," 2 Aug. 2019 The bomber who attacked Ghani's rally detonated his explosives at the entrance to the rally, according to Hamed Aziz, a spokesman form Ghani's campaign office. Rahim Faiez, Anchorage Daily News, "Suicide bombers kill scores in separate attacks in Afghanistan," 17 Sep. 2019 According to the Ministry of Interior, a suicide bomber detonated himself with explosives at Masoud Square, killing 16 civilians and injuring 38. Ehsan Popalzai And Aimee Lewis, CNN, "At least 48 people killed in two separate bomb attacks in Afghanistan," 17 Sep. 2019 In 1954, the Soviet Union detonated a 40-kiloton atomic test weapon., "In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops entered Moscow following the Battle of Borodino to find the Russian city largely abandoned and parts set ablaze.," 14 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for detonate

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for detonate

The first known use of detonate was in 1729

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More Definitions for detonate


How to pronounce detonate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of detonate

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

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something of little or no value

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