Definition of explode
- explode a theory
- explode a bomb
- dynamite explodes
- exploded in anger
- exploded from the starting gate
- the population of the city exploded
- shrubs exploded with blossoms
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.
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.
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.
: 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
What made you want to look up explode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).