Definition of detonate in English:


Line breaks: det¦on|ate
Pronunciation: /ˈdɛtəneɪt


  • Explode or cause to explode: [no object]: two other bombs failed to detonate [with object]: a trigger that can detonate nuclear weapons
    More example sentences
    • If it did smash into the Earth the effect would be like detonating thousands of nuclear bombs, killing billions of people and wiping out an area the size of Europe.
    • Pakistan and India declared themselves nuclear powers after detonating atomic bombs in 1998.
    • That accord specifically prohibited countries from detonating nuclear weapons in space.
    explode, go off, be set off, blow up, burst apart, shatter, erupt; ignite; bang, blast, boom, go bang, go boomset off, explode, discharge, let off, touch off, trigger; ignite, kindle, light, spark



More example sentences
  • The script uses almost every word as detonative symbol.
  • The tube is then subjected to a detonative shock from a high explosive donor charge.
  • Suggestion was made that the energy being produced during detonative combustion can be utilized for useful work, e.g. rock mining in a quarry.


early 18th century: from Latin detonat- 'thundered down or forth', from the verb detonare, from de- 'down' + tonare 'to thunder'.

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