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

Definition of detonate in English:


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;
bang, blast, boom, go bang, go boom
set off, explode, discharge, let off, touch off, trigger;
ignite, kindle, light, spark


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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