- to expand with force and noise because of rapid chemical change or decomposition, as gunpowder or nitroglycerine (opposed to implode).
- to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report, as a boiler from excessive pressure of steam.
- to burst forth violently or emotionally, especially with noise, laughter, violent speech, etc.: He exploded with rage when contradicted.
- Phonetics. (of plosives) to terminate the occlusive phase with a plosion.Compare implode(def 2).
- Golf. to play an explosion shot on a golf ball.
- to cause (gunpowder, a boiler, etc.) to explode.
- to cause to be rejected; destroy the repute of; discredit or disprove: to explode a theory.
- Phonetics. to end with plosion.
- Golf. to play an explosion shot on (a golf ball).
- Obsolete. to drive (a player, play, etc.) from the stage by loud expressions of disapprobation.
Origin of explode
Examples from the Web for explode
Angry Birds at its simplest was the same way, though you wanted to watch things collapse and explode.Lost For Thousands of Strokes: 'Desert Golfing' Is 'Angry Birds' as Modern Art
January 2, 2015
It failed to explode, but U.S. officials knew they were lucky.Pakistani School Killers Want to Strike the U.S.
Sami Yousafzai, Christopher Dickey
December 17, 2014
Markov tells The Daily Beast he expects the situation in eastern Ukraine to explode in the coming two days.Ukraine Could Explode in the Next 48 Hours
November 10, 2014
Add in fiery preaching by anti-gay zealots, often funded by American organizations, and you have a volatile brew ready to explode.The Uganda Ruling is Good For Everyone But Gays
August 1, 2014
Holmes: “I had five seconds from the time the pin falls off from that grenade until it will explode.”‘Kill Team’: The Documentary the Army Doesn’t Want You to See
July 26, 2014
"I ought to find the connection and explode it," repeated Caradoc doggedly.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
Hurriedly he tried a half dozen more cartridges but they refused to explode.The Solar Magnet
Sterner St. Paul Meek
At that very moment the Arabella seemed to explode as she swept by.Captain Blood
The flame is so completely hollow that even it cannot explode the powder.The Story of a Tinder-box
Charles Meymott Tidy
That they could not explode of themselves in that way seems certain.The Destroyer
Burton Egbert Stevenson
- to burst or cause to burst with great violence as a result of internal pressure, esp through the detonation of an explosive; blow up
- to destroy or be destroyed in this mannerto explode a bridge
- (of a gas) to undergo or cause (a gas) to undergo a sudden violent expansion, accompanied by heat, light, a shock wave, and a loud noise, as a result of a fast uncontrolled exothermic chemical or nuclear reaction
- (intr) to react suddenly or violently with emotion, etcto explode with anger
- (intr) (esp of a population) to increase rapidly
- (tr) to show (a theory, etc) to be baseless; refute and make obsolete
- (tr) phonetics to pronounce (a stop) with audible plosion
Word Origin and History for explode
1530s, "to reject with scorn," from Latin explodere "drive out or off by clapping, hiss off, hoot off," originally theatrical, "to drive an actor off the stage by making noise," hence "drive out, reject" (a sense surviving in an exploded theory), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plaudere "to clap the hands, applaud," of uncertain origin. Athenian audiences were highly demonstrative. clapping and shouting approval, stamping, hissing, and hooting for disapproval. The Romans seem to have done likewise.
At the close of the performance of a comedy in the Roman theatre one of the actors dismissed the audience, with a request for their approbation, the expression being usually plaudite, vos plaudite, or vos valete et plaudite. [William Smith, "A First Latin Reading Book," 1890]
English used it to mean "drive out with violence and sudden noise" (1650s), later, "go off with a loud noise" (American English, 1790); sense of "to burst with destructive force" is first recorded 1882; of population, 1959. Related: Exploded; exploding.