Definition of explode in English:


Syllabification: ex·plode
Pronunciation: /ikˈsplōd


[no object]
1Burst or shatter violently and noisily as a result of rapid combustion, decomposition, excessive internal pressure, or other process, typically scattering fragments widely: a large bomb exploded in a park
More example sentences
  • 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.
blow up, detonate, go off, burst (apart), fly apart, erupt
1.1 [with object] Cause (a bomb) to do this: the USSR had not yet exploded its first nuclear weapon
More example sentences
  • Guerrillas exploded car bombs in front of a police academy, killing at least 6 and wounding 33.
  • He's been accused but never charged in a plot to explode a dirty bomb inside the country.
  • After India exploded its nuclear bomb three years ago I had a meeting with the Indian ambassador to Moscow.
1.2 technical Undergo a violent expansion in which much energy is released as a shock wave: lead ensures that gasoline burns rather than explodes
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.3(Of a person) suddenly give expression to violent and uncontainable emotion, especially anger: he can explode with anger [with direct speech]: “This is ludicrous!” she exploded
More example sentences
  • 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.
lose one's temper, blow up, get angry, become enraged, get mad
informal fly off the handle, hit the roof, blow one's cool/top/stack, go wild, go bananas, go ballistic, see red, go off the deep end, go crackers, go postal
1.4(Of a violent emotion or a situation) arise or develop suddenly: tension that could explode into violence at any time
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.5 (explode into) Suddenly begin to move or start a new activity: a bird exploded into flight
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.6Increase suddenly or rapidly in size, number, or extent: the car population of Warsaw has exploded
More example sentences
  • 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.
increase suddenly/rapidly, mushroom, snowball, escalate, multiply, burgeon, rocket, skyrocket
1.7 (as adjective exploded) (Of a diagram or drawing) showing the components of a mechanism as if separated by an explosion but in the normal relative positions: an exploded diagram of the rifle’s parts
More example sentences
  • It included an exploded diagram of a typical brick built house and it was interesting to see all the doublings of the various cavities.
  • A simple sheet with even just an exploded diagram as included with many cases these days, would go a long way to improving a novice's experience with this case.
  • For every birdhouse, you'll find a photo, an exploded diagram of all sides, and simple instructions.
2 [with object] Show (a belief or theory) to be false or unfounded: the myths that link smoking with glamour need to be exploded
More example sentences
  • 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.
informal poke holes in, blow out of the water
formal confute


mid 16th century (in the sense 'reject scornfully, discard'): from Latin explodere 'drive out by clapping, hiss off the stage', from ex- 'out' + plaudere 'to clap'. sense 2 is derived from the original sense of the word. 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'.



More example sentences
  • Scots are ‘exploders’, given to frequent flashes of temper, while the English and Welsh to are ‘imploders’, bottling their emotions up until there is a sudden rush of blood to the head.
  • He offered the definition of cyberstalking as harassment on the Internet using various modes of transmission such as electronic mail, chat rooms, newsgroups and mail exploders.
  • Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.

Definition of explode in: