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

Other Words from explode

exploder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for explode

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web Those bomblets, many of which contain metal fragments, also explode, spraying shrapnel in all directions. Erin Cunningham, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 His character does in fact explode at the end of the film, while Spinal Tap is performing in Japan. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 2 May 2022 The driver's air bag inflator may explode during deployment, due to a manufacturing defect. Detroit Free Press, 29 Apr. 2022 The driver's air bag inflator may explode during deployment, due to a manufacturing defect. USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 The militants in Nigeria's northeast often explode bombs at marketplaces in remote communities in violence that has largely centered on Borno state and the Lake Chad region in the last year. Chinedu Asadu, ajc, 20 Apr. 2022 As the world of NFTs—non-fungible tokens—continues to explode, so does the risk of deception and scams. Nick Brucker, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 Beijing raced to carry out citywide testing late last month two days after cases began surging, hoping to snuff out the nascent outbreak before numbers would explode. Sha Hua, WSJ, 1 May 2022 But at some point, Billups said, Lillard would explode. oregonlive, 30 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near explode

explicit relation

explode

exploded

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Statistics for explode

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Explode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explode. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for explode

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

More from Merriam-Webster on explode

Nglish: Translation of explode for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of explode for Arabic Speakers

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