explosion

Whether it's a bursting balloon or a detonating bomb, you're sure to notice an explosion. An explosion involves a sudden and often violent burst of energy.

The noun explosion is useful when you're talking about a watermelon smashing on the pavement or the burst of fireworks overhead, but it can also describe a sudden increase in something, like an explosion of excitement at a birthday party when the pony arrives. Originally, explosion was used to mean "scornful rejection," from its root in the Latin explodere, "hiss off the stage," and a disappointed audience today might still be described as "exploding with boos."

Primary Meanings of explosion

1.
n
the act of exploding or bursting
2.
n
a sudden great increase
3.
n
the terminal forced release of pressure built up during the occlusive phase of a stop consonant
4.
n
a golf shot from a bunker that typically moves sand as well as the golf ball
Full Definitions of explosion
1

n the act of exploding or bursting

“the explosion of the firecrackers awoke the children”
Synonyms:
burst
Types:
detonation
the act of detonating an explosive
fulmination
the act of exploding with noise and violence
percussion
the act of exploding a percussion cap
Type of:
change of integrity
the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something

n a violent release of energy caused by a chemical or nuclear reaction

Synonyms:
blowup, detonation
Types:
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
airburst
an explosion in the atmosphere
blast
an explosion (as of dynamite)
backfire
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
fragmentation
the scattering of bomb fragments after the bomb explodes
inflation
(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:
discharge
the sudden giving off of energy

n the noise caused by an explosion

“the explosion was heard a mile away”
Type of:
noise
sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)

n a sudden outburst

“an explosion of laughter”
“an explosion of rage”
Type of:
blowup, ebullition, effusion, gush, outburst
an unrestrained expression of emotion
2

n a sudden great increase

“the population explosion
“the information explosion
Type of:
increase
a change resulting in an increase
3

n the terminal forced release of pressure built up during the occlusive phase of a stop consonant

Synonyms:
plosion
Type of:
release, tone ending
(music) the act or manner of terminating a musical phrase or tone
4

n a golf shot from a bunker that typically moves sand as well as the golf ball

Type of:
golf shot, golf stroke, swing
the act of swinging a golf club at a golf ball and (usually) hitting it

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.