Definition of explode in English:

explode

verb

[with object]
  • 1Burst or shatter violently and noisily as a result of rapid combustion, excessive internal pressure, or other process.

    ‘an ammunition lorry exploded with a roar’
    with object ‘Britain had not yet exploded her first nuclear weapon’
    with object ‘the USSR had not yet exploded its first nuclear weapon’
    • ‘The bottle must have been slightly warm causing it to explode like a pressure bomb.’
    • ‘The plane's jet engines started with a bang, sounding like a bomb exploding in the fuselage.’
    • ‘The approaching tanks exploded in rapid succession and burst into flames.’
    • ‘Early evidence suggests that only detonators exploded, not bombs.’
    • ‘There are numerous young surfers who excel - they are a bomb waiting to explode onto the international scene.’
    • ‘In 1883, Krakatoa's volcano exploded so violently that the sound was said to have been heard 3,000 miles away.’
    • ‘The bombs exploded prematurely in the house, but no one was hurt in the incident.’
    • ‘Reality set in when a B - 17 went into a dive and suddenly exploded in mid-air.’
    • ‘The grenade exploded in mid-air and a brilliant flash blinded everyone in the room.’
    • ‘Mortar rounds, bullets, and antitank rockets all exploded harmlessly on the armored sides of the ship.’
    • ‘The missiles hit their mark, as the alien ship finally exploded in a cloud of flames.’
    • ‘Wide-eyed youngsters watched as dozens of fireworks exploded in a shower of colour to kick-off the celebrations with a bang.’
    • ‘The firework had exploded next to the cot after penetrating a small double glazed window.’
    • ‘He flew higher into the sky as the ship exploded into flames.’
    • ‘Cluster bombs also produce problematic after-effects because many of the bomblets do not explode on impact as intended.’
    • ‘Shells exploded without warning among the armoured columns, every stretch of open road was a potential trap.’
    • ‘A grenade exploded nearby, sand raining down on them.’
    • ‘The second engine upon the other wing exploded in a burst of flames.’
    • ‘The airplane exploded and broke up into a couple of pieces.’
    • ‘In late August, after rumbling and smoking for many months, Krakatoa exploded four times and basically blew itself apart.’
    blow up, detonate, blow, burst, burst apart, fly apart, fly into pieces, shatter, go off, erupt
    detonate, set off, let off, discharge, touch off, trigger, trigger off, fire off, let fly
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    1. 1.1technical Undergo a violent expansion in which much energy is released as a shock wave.
      ‘lead ensures that petrol burns rather than explodes’
      • ‘The laser heats the surrounding air so fast it explodes, causing a shock wave.’
      • ‘The fuel inside the tanker exploded and the shockwave from the blast boosted Ravena's speed.’
      • ‘One of the reactors exploded and released huge doses of radiation.’
      • ‘This creates heat and in some circumstances you can literally see the hairs popping out of the hair follicle as they explode from the energy they have absorbed.’
      • ‘Also, the chemical plant was processing ammonium nitrate, a stable chemical that requires a substantial infusion of energy to explode.’
  • 2(of a violent emotion or a situation) arise or develop suddenly.

    ‘tension which could explode into violence at any time’
    • ‘It means any situation can explode from a simple operation to a full-scale two hour fight.’
    • ‘A feeling suddenly exploded inside of him, and he rose, pulled on pants and a shirt, and went out to tack Shiloh.’
    • ‘Fortunately, we were interrupted before the situation exploded.’
    • ‘The situation exploded onto the scene on Tuesday, when the newspaper broke the story.’
    • ‘The Coalition parties themselves are wracked by tensions and divisions, and there are concerns among the ruling elite that the situation could well explode.’
    • ‘However, it was only natural such a situation explode eventually.’
    • ‘Thanks to elections, there is no longer the danger of the former, violent impulses exploding.’
    • ‘The crisis exploded after a series of kidnappings and violent demonstrations last week, followed by the chairman's reshuffling of top security posts.’
    • ‘Kim's rage suddenly exploded, and she spun around fiercely to face him.’
    • ‘He scowled and the fear exploded inside as he reached out suddenly and grasped me by the chin again, pulling me so that we were face to face, only inches apart.’
    • ‘Sometimes anxiety explodes in a panic attack, marked by a general feeling of terror.’
    • ‘In this context, is it really that surprising that parents get stroppier with teachers than previously they might have done, and that passions explode on both sides?’
    • ‘Should that crisis explode, it would drag everyone down into the same predicament.’
    • ‘Social unrest was exploding as anti-war protestors and civil rights demonstrators used the public stage to express their views.’
    • ‘If you take the time to tend to your financial health now, you should feel reasonably secure when the next crisis explodes.’
    • ‘The man's hurt and disgust exploded when less than 10 politicians stayed to hear the discussion on the report into the affair.’
    • ‘The crisis has exploded, and problems are starting to become significant.’
    • ‘What happens, these films ask, when the accumulated rage and resentment inevitably explode?’
    • ‘When I saw them I cried, because I had conflicting emotions exploding inside me.’
    • ‘I nod again, nervous anxiety exploding in my stomach.’
    1. 2.1(of a person) suddenly give expression to violent emotion, especially anger.
      ‘he exploded with rage’
      with direct speech ‘‘This is ludicrous!’ she exploded’
      • ‘Surely, she wouldn't explode with anger and stomp off?’
      • ‘His fears and frustrations bottled up since the nightmare had begun, he suddenly exploded with fury and savage emotion.’
      • ‘I was so furious when I read the number that I very nearly exploded with rage.’
      • ‘When the black shroud was removed from the white jersey, the crowd exploded with cheers in a standing ovation as fans began to chant Robinson's name.’
      • ‘The whole tent of staff officers exploded with cheers.’
      • ‘His mother and father nearly exploded with surprise and told him it was preposterous.’
      • ‘Valerie had quickly covered Devin's mouth before he could explode with his torrent of name calling.’
      • ‘He just exploded with enthusiasm that I had never seen before in my life.’
      • ‘Nell looked as if she would explode with happiness.’
      • ‘Julia looked so red that she might explode with embarrassment.’
      • ‘Justin exploded, tears of anger coming to his eyes.’
      • ‘Thousands of school students exploded in anger at the war.’
      • ‘Laine was wondering if she would actually explode with anxiety when they strolled past two old woman, who gave them a strange look.’
      • ‘Paige looked at her mother, fearful that she would explode in anger.’
      • ‘Things at that moment in his life were such that he just exploded and his anger and those feelings were taken out on the wrong person.’
      • ‘When the bell rang they nearly exploded with laughter about the silly things they were talking about.’
      • ‘Cooper said they all exploded with laughter and just got back in the Lorry and drove off.’
      • ‘Exploding with rage, Caroline disengaged from the magician and made for Julian.’
      • ‘The girl's face looked like she was about to explode with rage.’
      • ‘For a second, I thought he was going to explode with anger.’
      lose one's temper, give vent to one's feelings, blow up, rage, rant and rave, storm, bluster, get angry, become enraged, go into a rage, go berserk
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    2. 2.2explode intoSuddenly begin to move or start a new activity.
      ‘workers exploded into action as trade revived’
      • ‘He stepped up and got down to business; getting a feel, slowly working up a rhythm, dropping snippets of familiar tracks, then suddenly exploding into action.’
      • ‘Just as he's hypnotised you into his intimate world, the closing track suddenly explodes into ear-blistering Finnish-language opera.’
      • ‘Carefully counting out her remaining coins on the table, the woman suddenly exploded into argument.’
      • ‘The match had been relatively quiet until the 28th minute when it suddenly exploded into tempestuous life.’
      • ‘The young bloke on the veranda stares unwittingly for a moment or two at the approaching figure before suddenly exploding into action.’
      • ‘The song is a lovely acoustic opener with interesting time changes, which suddenly explodes into a loud mess of electric guitars and drums before dropping back into the acoustic part and ending.’
      • ‘There's a palpable sense of excitement as the song suddenly explodes into a frenetic blast of crashing cymbals, screeching guitars, and thumping bass.’
      • ‘It's like two people having a conversation that suddenly explodes into violence on the social scale.’
      • ‘Hearing this, Val fell silent and then suddenly exploded into fits of wild laughter.’
      • ‘Their first scene is, on the surface, a model of civilised restraint, but in their last scene she goads and humiliates him to the point where he explodes into sudden - and lethal - violence.’
      • ‘I move, all of my muscles tensing, then exploding into action.’
      • ‘Their first single opens with a loping reggae rhythm topped off with barbershop quartet harmonies, before unexpectedly exploding into big-band jazz.’
      • ‘Perhaps if we enlist enough troops, we can have several platoons simultaneously exploding into dance around Manhattan, so there will be absolutely no way to tell where we might strike next.’
      • ‘He spoke loudly, often exploding into laughter at his own cleverness and compelling attention with a strange stutter.’
      • ‘Track after track meanders on, never finding its center, never exploding into the rock and roll ecstasy that the band always seems capable of, but never quite delivers.’
      • ‘She is about 13 years old, living proof of the tensions that have grown up over decades in Redfern, passing down the generations and exploding into a full-blown race riot.’
      • ‘All over the campuses are television sets with huge crowds seated around them, alternately watching in silence or exploding into bloodcurdling screams.’
  • 3Increase suddenly in size, number, or extent.

    ‘the use of this drug exploded in the nineties’
    • ‘Their project explores how we should respond to the fact the modern city has exploded in size from the manageable to the unimaginable.’
    • ‘The population exploded, increasing from 48,000 in 1970 to 226,000 in 1990.’
    • ‘Type 2 diabetes has exploded because of the increasing prevalence of both obesity and sedentary lifestyles.’
    • ‘The funds exploded in size and venture capitalists were investing in businesses and then exiting from them at a breakneck speed.’
    • ‘Interest in snakes has recently exploded to such an extent that books on them are appearing almost as fast as those on dinosaurs.’
    • ‘The companies are regrouping to better attack the market, a market exploding in size and complexity.’
    • ‘When the population numbers explode and increase exceeding the number that can be employed, unemployment and poverty must be inevitable.’
    • ‘As the urban population exploded in size, councillors faced a housing crisis.’
    • ‘In the spring, rebellion exploded across the previously supportive south.’
    • ‘Dollar reserves rose steadily in the '70s… and then exploded upward in the '80s.’
    • ‘If rates were to explode upward, mortgage payments for these folks could double or triple.’
    • ‘In the intervening months the number of new polio cases has exploded, spreading from Kano across Africa's most populous country.’
    • ‘Since then, interest has exploded, with dozens of games challenging thousands of simultaneous players across both real and virtual environments.’
    • ‘Cases of the disease exploded in the 1990s and in 2001 it claimed 1,700 lives.’
    • ‘Car ownership has exploded in Edinburgh over the past two decades.’
    • ‘The mosquito-borne illness is spreading and the cases could explode in the judgment of those health officials.’
    • ‘At the same time, commercial, social and professional opportunities are exploding as new markets open to competition and foreign investment and participation.’
    • ‘This was also the period when the population of California really exploded.’
    • ‘Between 1984 and 2000, the county's population exploded by about two million to close to 10 million residents.’
    • ‘Weed populations explode the year after a drought due to turf thinning.’
    increase suddenly, increase rapidly, increase dramatically, mushroom, snowball, escalate, multiply, burgeon, rocket, shoot up, accelerate, heighten
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  • 4with object Show (a belief or theory) to be false or unfounded.

    ‘the myths that link smoking with glamour need to be exploded’
    • ‘This totally explodes the theory of a long life necessarily being a lazy one.’
    • ‘They exploded the belief that the recurrence of periods of bad business was caused by a scarcity of money and by a general overproduction.’
    • ‘Already their research has helped to explode long-held theories about the history of disease.’
    • ‘However, gas-giant planets orbiting less than 0.4 AU from their parent stars explode this belief.’
    • ‘Derrida's theory of supplementarity is useful in understanding the extent to which ethnic art explodes postmodern theory in unexpected and unexplored new directions.’
    • ‘And if I can help explode stereotypes and misinformed beliefs, so much the better.’
    • ‘The belief in the supply side economics has been exploded.’
    • ‘Roy's popularity and decency exploded the myth they tried to create.’
    • ‘If lecturers cannot challenge students freely to engage in debate, no matter how disturbing, how are they supposed to explode myths and encourage radical thinking?’
    • ‘The researchers exploded the popular myth that the more highly educated a person is, the more politically active they are.’
    • ‘With its range of tonalities and mobilities, Niedecker's work explodes the standard cliches of minimalism as quiet or modest.’
    • ‘Be warned, this book will explode many myths you will have associated about the onset of the disease in the 1970s and 1980s.’
    • ‘It explodes myths about refugees and exposes attitudes that need to be dealt with.’
    • ‘The research explodes the conventional wisdom that popular music encourages teenagers to misbehave.’
    • ‘Sinclair's work is not complex and explodes the popular misconceptions of who pays what.’
    • ‘The survey also exploded the myth that cases of divorce were prevalent among the group.’
    disprove, refute, deny, rebut, invalidate, gainsay, negate, repudiate, discredit, debunk, belie, give the lie to, expose, deflate, puncture, quash, contradict, ridicule
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Origin

Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘reject scornfully’): from Latin explodere ‘drive out by clapping, hiss off the stage’, from ex- ‘out’ + plaudere ‘to clap’. explode (sense 4) is derived from the original sense of the word. explode (sense 1) (late 18th century) evolved via an old sense ‘expel with violence and sudden noise’, perhaps influenced by obsolete displode ‘burst with a noise’.

Pronunciation

explode

/ɪkˈspləʊd/ /ɛkˈspləʊd/