explode

verb
ex·​plode | \ ik-ˈsplōd How to pronounce explode (audio) \
exploded; exploding

Definition of explode

intransitive verb

1 : to burst forth with sudden violence or noise from internal energy: such as
a : to undergo a rapid chemical or nuclear reaction with the production of noise, heat, and violent expansion of gases dynamite explodes
b : to burst violently as a result of pressure from within
2a : to give forth a sudden strong and noisy outburst of emotion exploded in anger
b : to move with sudden speed and force exploded from the starting gate
3 : to increase rapidly the population of the city exploded
4 : to suggest an explosion (as in appearance or effect) shrubs exploded with blossoms

transitive verb

1 : to cause to explode or burst noisily explode a bomb
2 : to bring into disrepute or discredit explode a theory
3 archaic : to drive from the stage by noisy disapproval

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Other Words from explode

exploder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for explode

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Did You Know?

Theatergoers in ancient Rome could be noisy in showing both their enjoyment and their dislike of a performance. One of the ways they made noise was by clapping their hands loudly. The Latin verb plaudere meant “to make a noise by loud clapping.” When Romans were showing their approval of a performance, the word used was applaudere, from which we get our English word applaud. When Romans did not like a performance, they often drove the performer from the stage by loud claps. The word for this was explodere or explaudere, from the prefix ex-, meaning “out, away,” and plaudere. From this word we get our English word explode. At first, explode meant “to drive from the stage by a noisy expression of dislike,” but this sense has all but disappeared.

Examples of explode in a Sentence

One of the shells failed to explode. These occasional skirmishes may soon explode into all-out war. The birds suddenly exploded into flight. The building exploded in flames. She looked like she was ready to explode with anger.
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Recent Examples on the Web If the Federal Reserve were to raise interest rates, that would explode the deficit even more. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Another Twist of the Knife: Introducing a New Death Tax," 1 May 2021 But as the performance draws ever closer, the streets explode with growing political unrest, forcing the Latin Grammy-winning musician to wrestle with his responsibility as an artist to his country and his legions of fans around the globe. San Francisco Chronicle, "Enter for a chance to win a code for 'The Boy From Medellín'," 28 Apr. 2021 Now that New York and New Jersey have also legalized recreational cannabis, nationwide sales could explode this year given how big these two markets are. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "It's 4/20. Cannabis stocks are smoking hot," 20 Apr. 2021 The bales, bound under thousands of pounds of pressure, would explode apart, and the bands, sharp as razor blades, would go winging through the air. al, "Older brother of Rick Bragg dies; a working man with a touch of poetry," 19 Apr. 2021 Sheet metal crumples like wrapping paper, headlights explode, and, even on newer models, there's always a grille or chunk of plastic trim that flies away like an Airbus departing LAX. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Watch These 12 Vehicles Score Poor Ratings During IIHS Crash Testing," 13 Apr. 2021 But sometimes, despite sufficient masses, stars never explode. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, "5 Ways To Have A ‘Failed Supernova’ Instead Of A Real One," 12 Apr. 2021 Big waves explode into a coastal cavern known as Thunder Hole. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Back to Bar Harbor: Reporter revisits his boyhood years to capture the magic of the past," 11 Apr. 2021 Mines will explode for a farmer tilling his field just as well as for an enemy soldier. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Biden Will Keep Loosened Rules on Land Mines," 9 Apr. 2021

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

1615, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for explode

Latin explodere to drive off the stage by clapping, from ex- + plaudere to clap

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Time Traveler for explode

Time Traveler

The first known use of explode was in 1615

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Statistics for explode

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Explode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explode. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for explode

explode

verb

English Language Learners Definition of explode

: to suddenly break apart in a violent way with parts flying outward
: to change in a very sudden and violent way
: to move with sudden speed and force

explode

verb
ex·​plode | \ ik-ˈsplōd How to pronounce explode (audio) \
exploded; exploding

Kids Definition of explode

1 : to burst or cause to burst with violence and noise The bomb exploded.
2 : to suddenly show or say with great emotion He exploded with anger.

explode

verb
ex·​plode | \ ik-ˈsplōd How to pronounce explode (audio) \
exploded; exploding

Medical Definition of explode

transitive verb

: to cause to explode or burst noisily explode a bomb

intransitive verb

: to undergo a rapid chemical or nuclear reaction with the production of noise, heat, and violent expansion of gases

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Comments on explode

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