\ i-ˈrəpt How to pronounce erupt (audio) \
erupted; erupting; erupts

Definition of erupt

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to burst from limits or restraint
(2) of a tooth : to emerge through the gum
b : to force out or release suddenly and often violently something (such as lava or steam) that is pent up
c : to become active or violent especially suddenly : break forth war could erupt at any moment the audience erupted in applause
2 : to break out with or as if with a skin eruption

transitive verb

: to force out or release usually suddenly and violently a volcano erupting lava and ash

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Other Words from erupt

eruptible \ i-​ˈrəp-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce eruptible (audio) \ adjective
eruptive \ i-​ˈrəp-​tiv How to pronounce eruptive (audio) \ adjective
eruptively adverb

Examples of erupt in a Sentence

The volcano erupted with tremendous force. A bitter dispute has erupted among the members of the team.
Recent Examples on the Web And there lies a lesson for the 2020 election as the economy staggers under the COVID-19 pandemic and racial tensions erupt. Margot Roosevelt, Star Tribune, "Review: 'The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True Story of America's Middle Class,' by Jim Tankersley," 16 Nov. 2020 Gunshots and sounds of a commotion erupt downstairs, and Paolo goes to check it out. Nick Schager,, "Fargo recap: Countdown to catastrophe," 26 Oct. 2020 The moon, named for a mortal woman who is transformed into a cow during a fight between Zeus and Hera in Greek mythology, has lava fountains that can erupt to reach dozens of miles high. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Images reveal new insights about Jupiter's volcanic moon Io," 23 Oct. 2020 From federal and local law enforcement to analysts who track radical groups, concern is high about the possibility that violence could erupt, especially if the vote count drags on for days without a clear winner. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "With Election Day looming, an anxious nation hears rumblings of violence," 31 Oct. 2020 The dispute over the island’s fate has had the potential to erupt into conflict between China and the United States for decades. Michael Schuman, The Atlantic, "Taiwan Is the Next Front in the U.S.-China Standoff," 10 Oct. 2020 Cox recalls as her season 12 sisters erupt with laughter around her. Joey Nolfi,, "Queens reveal Jeff Goldblum sent Drag Race season 12 debate hilariously off-script," 17 Sep. 2020 Maybe Walsh should have gotten another player, one who wouldn't snap and erupt into violent outbursts. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "He's now Metta Sandiford-Artest, 40, and he blames himself for Pacers not winning NBA title," 17 Sep. 2020 So the daughter wasn’t at Atlanta in 1996 to witness her father cause Olympic Stadium to erupt upon taking the lead in the 5,000 meters. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "In the genes: Two Park Tudor sophomores upholding family tradition of Kennedys, Farleys," 22 Oct. 2020

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

1657, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for erupt

Latin eruptus, past participle of erumpere to burst forth, from e- + rumpere to break — more at reave

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Time Traveler for erupt

Time Traveler

The first known use of erupt was in 1657

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Statistics for erupt

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Erupt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for erupt


How to pronounce erupt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of erupt

: to send out rocks, ash, lava, etc., in a sudden explosion also : to come out in a sudden explosion
: to happen or begin suddenly and violently
: to begin doing something (such as shouting or applauding) suddenly


\ i-ˈrəpt How to pronounce erupt (audio) \
erupted; erupting

Kids Definition of erupt

1 : to send out lava, rocks, and ash in a sudden explosion The volcano erupted.
2 : to burst out in a sudden explosion Lava erupted from the volcano.
3 : to happen, begin, or appear suddenly War erupted. A rash erupted on my skin.
\ i-ˈrəpt How to pronounce erupt (audio) \

Medical Definition of erupt

1 of a tooth : to emerge through the gum
2 : to break out (as with a skin eruption)

Other Words from erupt

eruptive \ -​tiv How to pronounce eruptive (audio) \ adjective

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