det·​o·​na·​tion | \ ˌde-tᵊn-ˈā-shən How to pronounce detonation (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for detonation


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



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Residents in the town of Timbuktu reported hearing two large detonations Saturday near a camp for the U.N. mission known as MINUSMA. Washington Post, "Mali attack kills peacekeeper, wounds 10 French soldiers," 14 Apr. 2018 In Act Two, tensions continue to rise and reach their frightful climax at zero hour detonation. Paul Ross, Popular Mechanics, "I Am Become Opera: An Atomic Show In the Shadow of Los Alamos," 27 July 2018 Five hundred grams of the homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device were found in their car, authorities said. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 4, 2018," 4 July 2018 Also inside, stretching as far as the eye could see, were bundles of wires and detonation charges to prepare for the tunnels' imminent destruction. Tim Schwarz And Will Ripley, CNN, "The day we saw decades of North Korea's nuclear work go up in smoke," 25 May 2018 Stein said there had already been several detonations and that firefighters were not allowed to enter suspicious areas. Kirsten Grieshaber, Fox News, "Huge wildfire spreads southwest of Berlin," 24 Aug. 2018 The federal government and law enforcement is more prepared for the aftermath of a terror attack than a missile attack — let alone one involving a nuclear detonation. W.j. Hennigan, Time, "What If Hawaii's False Missile Alert Had Been Real? Here's What Would Happen Next," 14 Jan. 2018 Although this opera ends at detonation, the atomic story is still being written. Paul Ross, Popular Mechanics, "I Am Become Opera: An Atomic Show In the Shadow of Los Alamos," 27 July 2018 The second explosion would have been the detonation of the remaining torpedoes aboard the submarine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of the Russian Kursk Submarine Disaster," 28 Sep. 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.

See More

First Known Use of detonation

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detonation

Dictionary Entries near detonation








Statistics for detonation

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detonation

The first known use of detonation was in 1686

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!