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 The Belarusian Transport Ministry released a transcript in which its air traffic controller told the Ryanair pilot to land in Minsk because a Hamas bomb aboard would explode over Vilnius. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 25 May 2021 But that will change next month, assuming Covid case rates don’t explode. Chris O'brien, Forbes, 20 May 2021 The tires of several police vehicles were slashed and two incendiary devices were deployed but did not explode. William Sanders, Arkansas Online, 26 Aug. 2020 That’s the case because by all accounts robots and other forms of automation are set to explode in usage. John Tamny, Forbes, 16 May 2021 This is more or less precisely the dynamic that led student loan debt to explode in the United States, and it’s the zombie worldview that threatens any chance of this government averting a multitude of political, economic, and ecological disasters. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 5 May 2021 Can put his foot in the ground and explode in any direction. USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Neutron stars, the ultradense spheres left behind when stars explode in supernovae explosions, could be stiffer and bigger than theory generally predicts. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 27 Apr. 2021 The federal government has made a historic $70 billion investment across successive Covid relief packages in helping people find and keep their housing, but the need is about to explode. Katie Lobosco, CNN, 25 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

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Explode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/explode. Accessed 14 Jun. 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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