ex·​plo·​sion | \ik-ˈsplō-zhən \

Definition of explosion 

1 : the act or an instance of exploding injured in a laboratory explosion

2 : a large-scale, rapid, or spectacular expansion or bursting out or forth the explosion of suburbia an explosion of red hair

3 : the release of occluded breath that occurs in one kind of articulation of stop consonants

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Synonyms & Antonyms for explosion


blast, blowup, burst, bursting, detonation, eruption, outburst



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Examples of explosion in a Sentence

The filmmakers staged the car's explosion. The island was rocked by a series of volcanic explosions. The region has experienced a population explosion. His comments prompted an explosion of laughter from the crowd.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bridenstine cites disasters like the Apollo 1 fire in 1967, and the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle explosions in 1986 and 2003, respectively. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Elon Musk won’t be smoking weed in public again, NASA admin says," 30 Nov. 2018 In years when has suffered rocket explosions, SpaceX has lost money. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "SpaceX Launches First Loan," 20 Nov. 2018 Is that the way fundraising is going to go in the future, where there’ll be these big, large explosions of fundraising, or not? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies," 14 Nov. 2018 The percussive plugs are great for shooting sports, explosions, and sharp loud noise. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "The Strange Noise-Blocking Plugs That Custom-Fit Your Ears," 19 Oct. 2018 The intense first installment had explosions, hostage situations, and a plot twist that had everyone reeling and ready for next week’s episode. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS' Returns for Its First Episode Since Pauley Perrette's Exit and Fans Have a Lot of Feelings," 26 Sep. 2018 The explosions, which set off scores off fires, affected about 8,600 homes and businesses, and permanently displaced about a dozen families in Lawrence, according to the paper. Fox News, "Residents allowed to return home following Massachusetts gas explosions, governor says," 16 Sep. 2018 The gas line explosion, which authorities say was an accident, destroyed at least four buildings, leaving streets filled with debris. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "J.J. Watt quietly donates $10K to fallen Wisconsin firefighter's family," 12 July 2018 So, too, here: When the game ended, the explosion of joy from the French players, and their small squadron of fans, felt somehow out of place, out of context, with the torpor that had descended. Rory Smith, New York Times, "France, With Flash to Spare, Reaches the World Cup Final," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'explosion.' 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 explosion

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for explosion

Latin explosion-, explosio act of driving off by clapping, from explodere

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Statistics for explosion

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explosion

The first known use of explosion was in 1681

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English Language Learners Definition of explosion

: the sudden, loud, and violent release of energy that happens when something (such as a bomb) breaks apart in a way that sends parts flying outward

: a sudden and very fast increase

: a sudden expression of some strong emotion


ex·​plo·​sion | \ik-ˈsplō-zhən \

Kids Definition of explosion

1 : a sudden and noisy bursting (as of a bomb) : the act of exploding

2 : a sudden outburst of feeling


ex·​plo·​sion | \ik-ˈsplō-zhən \

Medical Definition of explosion 

: the act or an instance of exploding

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Comments on explosion

What made you want to look up explosion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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