AskDefine | Define explode

Dictionary Definition



1 cause to explode; "We exploded the nuclear bomb" [syn: detonate, blow up, set off]
2 burst outward, usually with noise; "The champagne bottle exploded" [syn: burst] [ant: implode]
3 show a violent emotional reaction; "The boss exploded when he heard of the resignation of the secretary"
4 be unleashed; burst forth with violence or noise; "His anger exploded" [syn: burst forth, break loose]
5 destroy by exploding; "The enemy exploded the bridge"
6 cause to burst as a result of air pressure; of stop consonants like /p/, /t/, and /k/
7 drive from the stage by noisy disapproval
8 show (a theory or claim) to be baseless, or refute and make obsolete
9 increase rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner; "The population of India is exploding"; "The island's rodent population irrupted" [syn: irrupt]

User Contributed Dictionary



First recorded around 1538, from the verb explōdere meaning to "drive out or off by clapping". The meaning was originally theatrical, "to drive an actor off the stage by making noise," hence meaning to "to drive out" or "to reject". From ex- meaning "out" + plaudere meaning "to clap" or "to applaud". In English it used to mean to "drive out with violence and sudden noise" (from around 1660), and later meaning to "go off with a loud noise" (from around 1790).
The sense of "bursting with destructive force" is first recorded around 1882.


  1. To create an explosion, usu. resulting in the destruction of the entity.
    The assassin exploded the car by means of a car bomb.
  2. To destroy violently or abruptly.
    They sought to explode the myth of...
  3. To create an exploded view.
    Explode the assembly drawing so that all the fasteners are visible.
  4. transitive archaic To disprove or debunk.
    • Burton, Robert, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II, 344
      Astrology is required by many famous physicians... doubted of, and exploded by others.
  5. To blast, to blow up, to burst, to detonate, to go off.
    The bomb explodes.


to create an explosion
to destroy violently
to create an exploded view
to explode (intransitive)

Extensive Definition

An explosion''' is a sudden increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave.

Types of explosives


Explosions do not commonly occur in nature. Below Earth, most natural explosions arise from volcanic processes of various sorts. Explosive volcanic eruptions occur when magma rising from below has much dissolved gas in it; the reduction of pressure as the magma rises causes the gas to bubble out of solution, resulting in a rapid increase in volume. Explosions also occur as a result of impact events. On other planets, volcanoes and impacts cause explosions with various frequency.


The most common artificial explosives are chemical explosives, usually involving a rapid and violent oxidation reaction that produces large amounts of hot gas. Gunpowder was the first explosive to be discovered and put to use. Other notable early developments in chemical explosive technology were Frederick Augustus Abel's development of nitrocellulose in 1865 and Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite in 1866.


A nuclear weapon is a type of explosive weapon that derives its destructive force from the nuclear reaction of fission or from a combination of fission and fusion. As a result, even a nuclear weapon with a small yield is significantly more powerful than the largest conventional explosives available, with a single weapon capable of destroying an entire city.


A high current electrical fault can create an electrical explosion by forming a high energy electrical arc which rapidly vaporizes metal and insulation material. Also, excessive magnetic pressure within an ultra-strong electromagnet can cause a magnetic explosion.


Boiling liquid expanding vapour explosions are a type of explosion that can occur when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid is ruptured, causing a rapid increase in volume as the liquid evaporates.


Solar flares are an example of explosion common on the Sun, and presumably on most other stars as well. The energy source for solar flare activity comes from the tangling of magnetic field lines resulting from the rotation of the Sun's conductive plasma.


Strictly a physical process, as opposed to chemical or nuclear, eg, a the bursting of a sealed or partially-sealed container under internal pressure is often referred to as a 'mechanical explosion'. Examples include an overheated boiler or a simple tin can of beans tossed into a fire. A BLEVE (see above) is one type of mechanical explosion, but depending on the contents of the container, the effects can be dramatically more serious - consider a propane tank in the midst of a fire. In such a case, to the limited effects of the simple mechanical explosion when the tank fails are added the chemical explosion resulting from the released (initially liquid and then almost instanteaously gaseous) propane in the presence of an ignition source. For this reason, emergency workers often differentiate between the two events.
Among the largest known explosions in the universe are supernovae, which result from stars exploding, and gamma ray bursts, whose nature is still in some dispute.

Use in war

explode in Arabic: إنفجار
explode in Bulgarian: Взрив
explode in Czech: Výbuch
explode in Danish: Eksplosion
explode in German: Explosion
explode in Modern Greek (1453-): Έκρηξη
explode in Spanish: Explosión
explode in Esperanto: Eksplodo
explode in French: Explosion
explode in Korean: 폭발
explode in Croatian: Eksplozija
explode in Indonesian: Ledakan
explode in Icelandic: Sprenging
explode in Italian: Esplosione
explode in Hebrew: פיצוץ
explode in Dutch: Explosie
explode in Japanese: 爆発
explode in Norwegian: Eksplosjon
explode in Polish: Wybuch
explode in Portuguese: Explosão
explode in Russian: Взрыв
explode in Simple English: Explosion
explode in Slovak: Explózia
explode in Slovenian: Eksplozija
explode in Serbian: Експлозија
explode in Finnish: Räjähdys
explode in Swedish: Explosion
explode in Vietnamese: Nổ
explode in Ukrainian: Вибух
explode in Chinese: 爆炸

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

backfire, bang, bark, be angry, be excitable, belie, bellow, blast, blow a fuse, blow a gasket, blow out, blow sky-high, blow up, break out, burst, burst forth, bust, catch fire, catch the infection, coal, come apart, come to nothing, crack, debunk, deflate, detonate, discharge, disconfirm, discredit, disprove, erupt, excite easily, expose, fail miserably, feed, fill up, fire, fire up, fizz out, fizzle, fizzle out, flame up, flare up, flash up, flip, fly apart, fly out, freak out, fuel, fuel up, fulminate, get excited, get nowhere, go into hysterics, go off, go phut, hang up, have a tantrum, hit the ceiling, invalidate, let off, misfire, mushroom, negate, negative, oil, poop out, pop, prove the contrary, puncture, rage, ramp, rant, rant and rave, rave, refuel, refute, reject, repudiate, run a temperature, seethe, set off, shoot, show up, smolder, stoke, storm, take fire, top off, touch off, turn a hair, undercut
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