detonate

verb det·o·nate \ ˈde-tᵊn-ˌāt , ˈde-tə-ˌnāt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of detonate

detonated; detonating
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

detonatable

play \-ˌā-tə-bəl, -ˌnā-\ adjective

detonative

play \ˈde-tᵊn-ˌā-tiv, ˈde-tə-ˌnā-\ adjective

Examples of detonate in a Sentence

  1. The first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945.

  2. the bomb detonated with a thunder that could be heard for blocks in all directions

Recent Examples of detonate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of detonate

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

detonate Synonyms

Synonyms
blow, blow up, burst, crump, explode, go off, pop
Antonyms
implode
Related Words
fragment, shatter, smash, splinter; discharge, fire, shoot; balloon, burgeon (also bourgeon), mushroom
Near Antonyms
collapse, fizzle

DETONATE Defined for English Language Learners

detonate

verb

Definition of detonate for English Language Learners

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



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