Definition of explode in English:

explode

verb

[NO 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’
    • ‘Mortar rounds, bullets, and antitank rockets all exploded harmlessly on the armored sides of the ship.’
    • ‘The bombs exploded prematurely in the house, but no one was hurt in the incident.’
    • ‘The firework had exploded next to the cot after penetrating a small double glazed window.’
    • ‘The bottle must have been slightly warm causing it to explode like a pressure bomb.’
    • ‘The grenade exploded in mid-air and a brilliant flash blinded everyone in the room.’
    • ‘There are numerous young surfers who excel - they are a bomb waiting to explode onto the international scene.’
    • ‘The missiles hit their mark, as the alien ship finally exploded in a cloud of flames.’
    • ‘A grenade exploded nearby, sand raining down on them.’
    • ‘Wide-eyed youngsters watched as dozens of fireworks exploded in a shower of colour to kick-off the celebrations with a bang.’
    • ‘Reality set in when a B - 17 went into a dive and suddenly exploded in mid-air.’
    • ‘The plane's jet engines started with a bang, sounding like a bomb exploding in the fuselage.’
    • ‘Shells exploded without warning among the armoured columns, every stretch of open road was a potential trap.’
    • ‘Cluster bombs also produce problematic after-effects because many of the bomblets do not explode on impact as intended.’
    • ‘In 1883, Krakatoa's volcano exploded so violently that the sound was said to have been heard 3,000 miles away.’
    • ‘In late August, after rumbling and smoking for many months, Krakatoa exploded four times and basically blew itself apart.’
    • ‘He flew higher into the sky as the ship exploded into flames.’
    • ‘The airplane exploded and broke up into a couple of pieces.’
    • ‘The second engine upon the other wing exploded in a burst of flames.’
    • ‘Early evidence suggests that only detonators exploded, not bombs.’
    • ‘The approaching tanks exploded in rapid succession and burst into flames.’
    blow up, detonate, blow, fly apart, fly into pieces, shatter, go off, erupt
    detonate, set off, let off, discharge, touch 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of the reactors exploded and released huge doses of radiation.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2as adjective exploded (of a diagram) showing the components of a mechanism in the normal relative positions but slightly separated from each other:
      ‘an exploded diagram of the rifle's parts’
      • ‘The guy had no manuals, so I went to the company and photocopied the parts book exploded diagram and re-assembled it.’
      • ‘For every birdhouse, you'll find a photo, an exploded diagram of all sides, and simple instructions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The included manual is fairly simple but quite good, with exploded diagrams in more languages than you can shake a stick at.’
      • ‘It included an exploded diagram of a typical brick built house and it was interesting to see all the doublings of the various cavities.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘If you take the time to tend to your financial health now, you should feel reasonably secure when the next crisis explodes.’
    • ‘The crisis has exploded, and problems are starting to become significant.’
    • ‘Thanks to elections, there is no longer the danger of the former, violent impulses exploding.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Kim's rage suddenly exploded, and she spun around fiercely to face him.’
    • ‘Should that crisis explode, it would drag everyone down into the same predicament.’
    • ‘The man's hurt and disgust exploded when less than 10 politicians stayed to hear the discussion on the report into the affair.’
    • ‘Social unrest was exploding as anti-war protestors and civil rights demonstrators used the public stage to express their views.’
    • ‘The crisis exploded after a series of kidnappings and violent demonstrations last week, followed by the chairman's reshuffling of top security posts.’
    • ‘Sometimes anxiety explodes in a panic attack, marked by a general feeling of terror.’
    • ‘The situation exploded onto the scene on Tuesday, when the newspaper broke the story.’
    • ‘I nod again, nervous anxiety exploding in my stomach.’
    • ‘However, it was only natural such a situation explode eventually.’
    • ‘What happens, these films ask, when the accumulated rage and resentment inevitably explode?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When I saw them I cried, because I had conflicting emotions exploding inside me.’
    • ‘The Coalition parties themselves are wracked by tensions and divisions, and there are concerns among the ruling elite that the situation could well explode.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cooper said they all exploded with laughter and just got back in the Lorry and drove off.’
      • ‘Julia looked so red that she might explode with embarrassment.’
      • ‘His mother and father nearly exploded with surprise and told him it was preposterous.’
      • ‘Laine was wondering if she would actually explode with anxiety when they strolled past two old woman, who gave them a strange look.’
      • ‘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 girl's face looked like she was about to explode with rage.’
      • ‘Surely, she wouldn't explode with anger and stomp off?’
      • ‘When the bell rang they nearly exploded with laughter about the silly things they were talking about.’
      • ‘For a second, I thought he was going to explode with anger.’
      • ‘The whole tent of staff officers exploded with cheers.’
      • ‘Paige looked at her mother, fearful that she would explode in anger.’
      • ‘Thousands of school students exploded in anger at the war.’
      • ‘I was so furious when I read the number that I very nearly exploded with rage.’
      • ‘Justin exploded, tears of anger coming to his eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Exploding with rage, Caroline disengaged from the magician and made for Julian.’
      • ‘Nell looked as if she would explode with happiness.’
      • ‘His fears and frustrations bottled up since the nightmare had begun, he suddenly exploded with fury and savage emotion.’
      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 into Suddenly begin to move or start a new activity:
      ‘workers exploded into action as trade revived’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's a palpable sense of excitement as the song suddenly explodes into a frenetic blast of crashing cymbals, screeching guitars, and thumping bass.’
      • ‘Their first single opens with a loping reggae rhythm topped off with barbershop quartet harmonies, before unexpectedly exploding into big-band jazz.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I move, all of my muscles tensing, then exploding into action.’
      • ‘Just as he's hypnotised you into his intimate world, the closing track suddenly explodes into ear-blistering Finnish-language opera.’
      • ‘All over the campuses are television sets with huge crowds seated around them, alternately watching in silence or exploding into bloodcurdling screams.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hearing this, Val fell silent and then suddenly exploded into fits of wild laughter.’
      • ‘He spoke loudly, often exploding into laughter at his own cleverness and compelling attention with a strange stutter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The young bloke on the veranda stares unwittingly for a moment or two at the approaching figure before suddenly exploding into action.’
      • ‘It's like two people having a conversation that suddenly explodes into violence on the social scale.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 3Increase suddenly in size, number, or extent:

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

    ‘the myths that link smoking with glamour need to be exploded’
    • ‘Already their research has helped to explode long-held theories about the history of disease.’
    • ‘The survey also exploded the myth that cases of divorce were prevalent among the group.’
    • ‘And if I can help explode stereotypes and misinformed beliefs, so much the better.’
    • ‘The research explodes the conventional wisdom that popular music encourages teenagers to misbehave.’
    • ‘The belief in the supply side economics has been exploded.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Roy's popularity and decency exploded the myth they tried to create.’
    • ‘Be warned, this book will explode many myths you will have associated about the onset of the disease in the 1970s and 1980s.’
    • ‘However, gas-giant planets orbiting less than 0.4 AU from their parent stars explode this belief.’
    • ‘The researchers exploded the popular myth that the more highly educated a person is, the more politically active they are.’
    • ‘Derrida's theory of supplementarity is useful in understanding the extent to which ethnic art explodes postmodern theory in unexpected and unexplored new directions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It explodes myths about refugees and exposes attitudes that need to be dealt with.’
    • ‘Sinclair's work is not complex and explodes the popular misconceptions of who pays what.’
    • ‘With its range of tonalities and mobilities, Niedecker's work explodes the standard cliches of minimalism as quiet or modest.’
    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 is derived from the original sense of the word. explode (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/