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See more synonyms for detonate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing.
  1. to explode with suddenness and violence.
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verb (used with object), det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing.
  1. to cause (something explosive) to explode.
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Origin of detonate

1720–30; < Latin dētonātus thundered forth (past participle of dētonāre), equivalent to dē- de- + ton(āre) to thunder + -ātus -ate1
Related formsdet·o·na·ble [det-n-uh-buh l] /ˈdɛt n ə bəl/, det·o·nat·a·ble, adjectivedet·o·na·bil·i·ty, det·o·nat·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·det·o·nat·ing, adjectiveun·det·o·nat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for detonate

explode, blast, burst, discharge, bang, fulminate, mushroom

Examples from the Web for detonate

Contemporary Examples of detonate

Historical Examples of detonate

British Dictionary definitions for detonate


  1. to cause (a bomb, mine, etc) to explode or (of a bomb, mine, etc) to explode; set off or be set off
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Word Origin for detonate

C18: from Latin dētonāre to thunder down, from de- + tonāre to thunder
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

Word Origin and History for detonate


1729, a back-formation from detonation, or else from Latin detonatus, past participle of detonare. Related: Detonated; detonating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper