det·​o·​na·​tion ˌde-tᵊn-ˈā-shən How to pronounce detonation (audio)
: the action or process of detonating
: rapid combustion in an internal combustion engine that results in knocking

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 About 10 minutes after detonation, the mixture of debris and fission products will form miles-high radioactive mushroom clouds, which will then be dispersed by high-altitude winds, leading to fallout on downwind areas. Sébastien Philippe, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 The safety pin was accidentally pulled out by the two, leading to the detonation. Brady Knox, Washington Examiner, 6 Nov. 2023 Police did not share why the suspect exploded the teddy bear or if anyone in the parking was injured during the detonation. Sarah Rumpf-Whitten, Fox News, 19 Oct. 2023 The resulting crater and damage extending from the point of detonation is consistent with a missile coming from a northwesterly route, according to an explosives expert and a Times analysis. Alexander Cardia, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 To measure their impact, look beyond the detonation at Los Alamos and imagine diplomacy without Henry Kissinger, computing without John von Neumann, or the theater without Tom Stoppard. Dominic Green, WSJ, 22 Aug. 2023 The United States no longer produces TNT and has since moved to a substitute called IMX, an explosive that provides power with less risk of accidental detonation. Karen Deyoung, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2023 Currently, the Utah Test and Training Range is the only site where the Air Force is allowed to destroy the motors through detonation. Siena Duncan, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 July 2023 They were inserted into a detonation chamber, where the material was heated, rendering gas safe enough to be purified and released, according to Abaie and an Army webpage detailing the process. Alex Horton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'detonation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of detonation was in 1686

Dictionary Entries Near detonation

Cite this Entry

“Detonation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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