erupted; erupting; erupts

intransitive verb

: to burst from limits or restraint
of a tooth : to emerge through the gum
: to force out or release suddenly and often violently something (such as lava or steam) that is pent up
: to become active or violent especially suddenly : break forth
war could erupt at any moment
the audience erupted in applause
: 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
eruptible adjective
eruptive adjective
eruptively adverb

Example Sentences

The volcano erupted with tremendous force. A bitter dispute has erupted among the members of the team.
Recent Examples on the Web After not homering in their three previous games, the Red Sox broke out of their offensive slump to erupt for 11 hits, including three home runs, to post a 9-4 win over the Mariners Tuesday. Andrew Mahoney,, 17 May 2023 According to The Huffington Post, the swipe at the former Fox News prime time host known for his xenophobic and homophobic rants inspired the crowd to erupt in applause. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 May 2023 The tragic incident saw the production shut down, a major legal battle erupt over who held responsibility for what happened and an industry-wide call for live ammunition to be banned from film sets. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 May 2023 The sea of navy blue gowns erupted in applause when Gates received his honorary doctorate and officially joined their ranks as a Lumberjack, representing just a fraction of the network of more than 200,000 university alumni worldwide. Lacey Latch, The Arizona Republic, 13 May 2023 Known as Miss Tilly, the ship looms above North America’s largest wave pool, and the simulated mountain is also a massive geyser that erupts every half hour. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2023 With the typical Southern hospitality for which Louisville is best known, spectators lined up outside the two premier Derby Eve galas, which are held in different parts of the city, and erupted into cheers each time someone famous stepped into the limelight. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, 8 May 2023 The gunfire erupted around 3:30 p.m. at the Allen Premium Outlets as throngs of shoppers filled the outdoor mall, which is about 25 miles north of Dallas and has more than 120 stores. Lauren Mccarthy, New York Times, 6 May 2023 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate An electric San Francisco crowd of more than 2,600 Golden State Warriors fans erupted in jubilant cheers on Sunday when their team not only aced a critical game to stay in the playoffs, but did so with a history-making 50 points courtesy of Stephen Curry. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of erupt was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near erupt

Cite this Entry

“Erupt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to burst forth or cause to burst forth : explode
: to break through a surface
teeth erupting from the gum
: to break out with or as if with a skin eruption
eruptive adjective

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
of a tooth : to emerge through the gum
: to break out (as with a skin eruption)
eruptive adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on erupt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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