det·o·na·tion | \ˌde-tᵊn-ˈā-shən, ˌde-tə-ˈnā-\

Definition of detonation 

1 : the action or process of detonating

2 : rapid combustion in an internal combustion engine that results in knocking

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Synonyms & Antonyms for detonation


blast, blowup, burst, bursting, eruption, explosion, outburst



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Examples of detonation in a Sentence

there was a series of detonations around the base of the condemned building, causing it to come crashing down in a matter of minutes

Recent Examples on the Web

This High Explosive munition is designed for maximum fragmentation and will deliver an HE shell airburst detonation above the target to reach the enemy forces. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Formidable 'Jaguar' recon vehicle revealed, touts powerful cannon and anti-tank missiles," 18 June 2018 This may be one of the clearest indications that at least portions of the tunnel complex remain usable, something the US had suspected since the North Koreans allowed media to view the detonations. Barbara Starr And Zachary Cohen, CNN, "Kim's tunnel explosions a goodwill gesture? No so fast," 1 June 2018 Some experts argued that the facility had already been irreparably damaged by a massive underground detonation in September. Matt Stiles,, "Just before summit was called off, North Korea announced demolition of its nuclear test site," 24 May 2018 The detonation was so violent the asphalt was pulverized into rocks and sand; a piece of the van was found across the river. New York Times, "Florence’s Answer to Mafia Violence: A Painting’s Loving Restoration," 25 May 2018 Journalists who were allowed to visit the site at Punggye-ri, including some from South Korea, described a massive series of detonations. Matt Stiles,, "Just before summit was called off, North Korea announced demolition of its nuclear test site," 24 May 2018 Does every Trump detonation of the status quo work? Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "It’s Trump’s Iran Deal Now," 9 May 2018 Each of the voicemails threatened Muslims, said a bomb was planted in the building, and that its detonation was imminent, documents showed. Wayne K. Roustan,, "South Florida man pleads guilty to making bomb threats against mosque," 29 June 2018 While unlikely to trigger a nuclear detonation, an accident could still produce a large conventional explosion that sends nuclear material flying. NBC News, "North Korea's many nuclear weapons and how to rid the world of them," 11 June 2018

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

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for detonation

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for detonation

The first known use of detonation was in 1686

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Comments on detonation

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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