A detonation is an explosion, usually done on purpose. Nuclear weapons cause massive detonations, and cities sometimes plan a careful detonation of an abandoned building in order to make room for a new structure.

Detonation can be two things: the actual moment someone presses the button that creates the explosion, and then there’s the explosion itself. Its root word is the Latin detonare, which means “thunder down,” and if you’ve ever heard a detonation you understand that phrase well. Not all detonations are bad — like beautiful fireworks or the hilarious detonation of an exploding cigar.

Definitions of detonation
  1. noun
    the act of detonating an explosive
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    the act of exploding a percussion cap
    type of:
    burst, explosion
    the act of exploding or bursting
  2. noun
    a violent release of energy caused by a chemical or nuclear reaction
    synonyms: blowup, explosion
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    an explosion in the atmosphere
    an explosion (as of dynamite)
    a loud noise made by the explosion of fuel in the manifold or exhaust of an internal combustion engine
    big bang
    (cosmology) the cosmic explosion that is hypothesized to have marked the origin of the universe
    backfire, blowback
    the backward escape of gases and unburned gunpowder after a gun is fired
    the scattering of bomb fragments after the bomb explodes
    (cosmology) a brief exponential expansion of the universe (faster than the speed of light) postulated to have occurred shortly after the big bang
    bomb blast
    the explosion of a bomb
    back-blast, backblast
    backfire from a recoilless weapon
    type of:
    the sudden giving off of energy
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