explode

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

Definition of explode

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
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

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Other Words from explode

exploder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for explode

Synonyms

blow, blow up, burst, crump, detonate, go off, pop

Antonyms

implode

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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

Roofs can get damaged, pipes can burst, windows can crack, toilets can explode, and yes, even doors can freeze. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Buying Exterior Doors," 19 Feb. 2019 Now another person has been hurt by an exploding ARC inflator, this time in a General Motors vehicle. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on," 20 Feb. 2019 Just look at our exploding use of credit and debit cards: In 1990 debit cards in the U.S. were used for 300 million purchases; today the total exceeds 40 billion. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 Photo: francisco villeda/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Residents on Sunday search for human remains and items that could help identify their missing relatives and friends at the site where a pipeline ruptured by oil thieves exploded. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Death Toll Rises to 85 From Mexican Pipeline Explosion," 20 Jan. 2019 The fact that the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up movement exploded at the same time—that's a factor. Oronike Odeleye, Glamour, "The Co-Founder of #MuteRKelly on the R. Kelly Docuseries and What Real Justice Will Take," 10 Jan. 2019 Lippmann begins his critique by exploding the romanticized vision of democracy espoused by the American Founders. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 Researchers conducting the survey have never seen a drug’s popularity explode the way vaping did in the past year. Karen Kaplan, The Seattle Times, "Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use," 18 Dec. 2018 In that spirit of global analysis, the second AI Index report finds that commercial and research work in AI, as well as funding, is exploding pretty much everywhere on the planet. Nick Statt, The Verge, "The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly," 12 Dec. 2018

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 1

History and Etymology for explode

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

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Statistics for explode

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explode

The first known use of explode was in 1615

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on explode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with explode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for explode

Spanish Central: Translation of explode

Nglish: Translation of explode for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of explode for Arabic Speakers

Comments on explode

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