explode

play
verb ex·plode \ ik-ˈsplōd \

Definition of explode

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

exploder

noun

Examples of explode in a Sentence

  1. One of the shells failed to explode.

  2. These occasional skirmishes may soon explode into all-out war.

  3. The birds suddenly exploded into flight.

  4. The building exploded in flames.

  5. She looked like she was ready to explode with anger.

Recent Examples of explode from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of explode

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

explode Synonyms

Synonyms
blow, blow up, burst, crump, detonate, go off, pop
Antonyms
implode
Related Words
fragment, shatter, smash, splinter; discharge, fire, shoot; balloon, burgeon (also bourgeon), mushroom
Near Antonyms
collapse, fizzle


EXPLODE Defined for English Language Learners

explode

play
verb

Definition of explode for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

explode

play
verb ex·plode \ ik-ˈsplōd \

Definition of explode for Students

exploded; exploding
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.

Medical Dictionary

explode

play
verb ex·plode \ ik-ˈsplōd \

medical Definition of explode

exploded; exploding
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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