det·​o·​na·​tor | \ˈde-tᵊn-ˌā-tər, -tə-ˌnā-\

Definition of detonator 

: a device or small quantity of explosive used for detonating a high explosive

Examples of detonator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If a passing ship drifts too close to the mines with its metal hull, the altered magnetic field would set off the detonator. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "How the Sun Set Off Dozens of Mines During the Vietnam War," 9 Nov. 2018 The Iranian-Belgians had more than a pound of the powerful explosive TATP and a detonator. Hossein Abedini, WSJ, "Iranian Terror on European Soil," 23 July 2018 The actual mine is spherical with antenna detonators protruding from the surface of the mine. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Sea Mine Sighted, Blown Up Off Washington Coast," 29 Aug. 2018 The office said investigators who detained the couple and searched their car found more than a pound of TATP explosives and a detonator. NBC News, "Giuliani attended French event where terror plot thwarted," 2 July 2018 Investigators who detained the couple Saturday and searched their car found more than a pound of TATP explosives and a detonator, federal magistrate Eric Van der Sijpt said. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 2, 2018," 2 July 2018 In the final scene of the episode, Offred wields a pen in her hand, pressing her thumb down upon it much as Ofglen used a detonator to cause so much damage. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Handmaid's Tale' Reacted to Its Most Destructive Moment Yet," 31 May 2018 Investigators who stopped the couple Saturday and searched their car found about half a kilogram (more than a pound) of TATP explosives and a detonator, federal magistrate Eric Van der Sijpt said. Sylvain Plazy, The Seattle Times, "Belgium charges couple with plotting attack on French rally," 2 July 2018 The other man honed a kitchen knife against a stone, sliced off an inchlong fuse, wrapped it in a piece of aluminum and strapped on a match as a detonator. Aurora Almendral, New York Times, "In the Philippines, Dynamite Fishing Decimates Entire Ocean Food Chains," 15 June 2018

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

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for detonator

Last Updated

16 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for detonator

The first known use of detonator was in 1822

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English Language Learners Definition of detonator

: a device that is used to make a bomb explode

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detonator

Spanish Central: Translation of detonator

Nglish: Translation of detonator for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about detonator

Comments on detonator

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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