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

The explosion Tuesday, which killed firefighter Capt. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bank of Sun Prairie starts relief fund for those affected by gas explosion," 12 July 2018 Why the sudden explosion in hardware after years of chip maker stasis? Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "The AI revolution has spawned a new chips arms race," 9 July 2018 Disassembling and transporting nuclear warheads could trigger explosions, albeit probably not nuclear ones. The Economist, "North Korea presents nuclear disarmament’s biggest challenge yet," 5 July 2018 The dead included four firefighters and two police officers who rushed to the scene after the first explosion, only to killed by the second blast. NBC News, "Fireworks explosion near Mexico City kills 17, injures 31," 5 July 2018 In this process, called luminance, the metal absorbs energy from the explosion, something called excitation, emitting a color of light specific to that metal. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 For a guide to the best unofficial places to watch the pretty, colorful explosions, read on. refinery29.com, "Here Are The Best Places To Watch The Fireworks In NYC This Fourth Of July," 25 June 2018 The growth of the game, its explosion, was aided by the Globetrotters and other barnstorming squads that showcased African-American pioneers like Tatum and Haynes, Wilt Chamberlain and Connie Hawkins. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: This Pacers' usher is a "player," too," 23 June 2018 Scientists are unsure whether the blockage will eventually end eruptions at the summit or lead to a buildup of pressure that could cause a much bigger explosion. Author: Terray Sylvester, Anchorage Daily News, "Three people trapped by lava airlifted to safety near Hawaii volcano," 4 June 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

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for explosion

The first known use of explosion was in 1681

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More Definitions for explosion



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).


lying above or upon

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