ex·​plo·​sion | \ ik-ˈsplō-zhən How to pronounce explosion (audio) \

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 increase in sharks in Cape Cod’s waters over the past decade, and the explosion in the population of gray seals, the sharks’ favorite meal, is a conservation success story. David Owens, courant.com, "As people head to Cape Cod’s beaches for the final vacation weeks, white sharks are on their minds," 16 Aug. 2019 The explosion in Kentucky is not the first Enbridge incident this year. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "The company behind the Kentucky explosion is also behind the worst inland pipeline accident in US history," 1 Aug. 2019 The resulting explosion was over in a flash, and electron-positron pairs piled up in the detector surrounding the crash site. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Peer Inside a Fireball of Quantum Matter," 30 July 2019 The explosion from the initial bombing was large enough to be heard throughout the capital. Author: Rahim Faiez, Anchorage Daily News, "Death toll in attack at Afghan political office rises to 20," 29 July 2019 In the film, the explosion is a stunt, but the damage is genuine—much like the real-life conflict. The Economist, "A bold Ukrainian film-maker charts the line between fiction and truth," 25 July 2019 All things considered, the explosion was a relatively minor setback to SpaceX’s commercial crew program. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "A Leaky Component Caused the SpaceX Crew Dragon Explosion," 15 July 2019 Combined with everything that’s going on, the refinery explosion is certainly not going to help things. Stephanie Yang, WSJ, "Gasoline Prices Gain on Refinery Fire," 21 June 2019 The resulting fire caused several explosions, likely from propane tanks in the area. oregonlive.com, "After man’s wheelchair battery dies, officer helps with groceries: Forest Grove police log," 19 Aug. 2019

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

11 Sep 2019

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 How to pronounce explosion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce explosion (audio) \

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).


to spread over or through

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