Definition of detonate in US English:

detonate

verb

  • Explode or cause to explode.

    no object ‘two other bombs failed to detonate’
    with object ‘a trigger that can detonate nuclear weapons’
    • ‘What if a chemical weapon detonates on a crowded New England dock?’
    • ‘One of the two suspects who detonated the bombs is believed to have died in the explosions and the other is still at large.’
    • ‘He reveals to Dan Jones how he detonated the sparks of controversy.’
    • ‘Pakistan and India declared themselves nuclear powers after detonating atomic bombs in 1998.’
    • ‘Previously it was thought that one car bomb had detonated, but the statement said two devices went off.’
    • ‘Rarely has the potential power of hip hop been so convincingly harnessed, with Chuck D's furiously articulate lyrics detonating like bombs.’
    • ‘His task is to detonate a nuclear device in Suffolk, which will somehow scare millions into voting Labour.’
    • ‘That accord specifically prohibited countries from detonating nuclear weapons in space.’
    • ‘There is no gradualness and there are no countermeasures to a dozen nuclear warheads detonating simultaneously in U.S. cities.’
    • ‘They died after a suicide car bomb detonated at their checkpoint south of the capital.’
    • ‘Restaurant workers said more than 40 diners were inside when the bomb was detonated.’
    • ‘It has spurred India to go ahead publicly detonating nuclear devices.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Security measures to prevent nuclear attacks must be continued, but we cannot rely on efforts to block terrorists from detonating nuclear devices.’
    • ‘However, I wonder if they are capable of making, assembling and detonating a bomb of that capacity.’
    • ‘It was not clear whether he planned to detonate the bomb at the checkpoint or had intended to explode it at another target.’
    • ‘However, no one was injured as one of the petrol bombs detonated inside the porch and another failed to explode.’
    • ‘The ‘boom’ of a bomb being detonated anywhere in the vicinity is also a sound I hope you never hear.’
    • ‘The good news, from it standpoint of the Americans is, that means that most of that lethality is wasted if you're detonating a roadside bomb.’
    • ‘He was apparently waiting to be picked up by the general's official car when the first bomb was detonated by remote control.’
    explode, go off, be set off, blow up, burst apart, shatter, erupt
    set off, explode, discharge, let off, touch off, trigger
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

detonate

/ˈdetnˌāt//ˈdɛtnˌeɪt/