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.