[ burst ]
See synonyms for burst on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),burst or, often, burst·ed, burst·ing.
  1. to break, break open, or fly apart with sudden violence: The bitter cold caused the pipes to burst.

  2. to issue forth suddenly and forcibly, as from confinement or through an obstacle: Oil burst to the surface. He burst through the doorway.

  1. to give sudden expression to or as if to emotion: to burst into applause; to burst into tears.

  2. to be extremely full, as if ready to break open: The house was bursting with people.

  3. to appear suddenly; become visible, audible, evident, etc., all at once: The sun burst through the clouds.

verb (used with object),burst or, often, burst·ed, burst·ing.
  1. to cause to break or break open suddenly and violently: He burst the balloon.

  2. to cause or suffer the rupture of: to burst a blood vessel.

  1. to separate (the parts of a multipart stationery form consisting of interleaved paper and carbon paper).

  1. an act or instance of bursting.

  2. a sudden, intense display, as of activity, energy, or effort: The car passed us with a burst of speed.

  1. a sudden expression or manifestation, as of emotion: a burst of affection.

  2. a sudden and violent issuing forth: a burst of steam from the pipe.

  3. Military.

    • the explosion of a projectile, especially in a specified place: an air burst.

    • a rapid sequence of shots fired by one pull on the trigger of an automatic weapon: A burst from the machine gun shattered all the windows.

  4. the result of bursting; breach; gap: a burst in the dike.

  5. a sudden appearance or opening to view.

Idioms about burst

  1. burst at the seams, to be filled to or beyond normal capacity: This room will be bursting at the seams when all the guests arrive.

Origin of burst

First recorded before 1000; Middle English bersten, bursten, Old English berstan (past plural burston ), cognate with Old High German brestan (German bersten ), Old Norse bresta; akin to break

Other words for burst

Other words from burst

  • non·burst·ing, adjective, noun
  • un·burst, adjective

Words that may be confused with burst

Words Nearby burst

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use burst in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for burst


/ (bɜːst) /

verbbursts, bursting or burst
  1. to break or cause to break open or apart suddenly and noisily, esp from internal pressure; explode

  2. (intr) to come, go, etc, suddenly and forcibly: he burst into the room

  1. (intr) to be full to the point of breaking open

  2. (intr) to give vent (to) suddenly or loudly: to burst into song

  3. to cause or suffer the rupture of: to burst a blood vessel

  1. a sudden breaking open or apart; explosion

  2. a break; breach; rupture

  1. a sudden display or increase of effort or action; spurt: a burst of speed

  2. a sudden and violent emission, occurrence, or outbreak: a burst of heavy rain; a burst of applause

  3. a volley of fire from a weapon or weapons

  1. broken apart; ruptured: a burst pipe

Origin of burst

Old English berstan; related to Old Norse bresta, Old Frisian bersta, Old High German brestan; compare break

Derived forms of burst

  • burster, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012