Boom! To detonate is to explode or cause something to explode. If a bad guy lights the fuse of a stick of dynamite, run before it detonates!

In war, there is a lot of detonating, which is when something violently explodes, like bombs or grenades. When someone steps on a landmine, it detonates. The detonating of nuclear bombs devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Also, to detonate is to set off a bomb. Pushing a button, flicking a switch, or lighting a fuse could detonate a bomb. Either way, to detonate is to blow up.

Definitions of detonate

v cause to burst with a violent release of energy

blow up, explode, set off
cause to explode violently and with loud noise
blow up with dynamite
Type of:
change integrity
change in physical make-up

v burst and release energy as through a violent chemical or physical reaction;"the bomb detonated at noon"

blow up, explode

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