[ det-n-eyt ]
/ ˈdɛt nˌeɪt /

verb (used without object), det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing.

to explode with suddenness and violence.

verb (used with object), det·o·nat·ed, det·o·nat·ing.

to cause (something explosive) to explode.

Origin of detonate

1720–30; < Latin dētonātus thundered forth (past participle of dētonāre), equivalent to dē- de- + ton(āre) to thunder + -ātus -ate1

Related forms

det·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detonate

British Dictionary definitions for detonate


/ (ˈdɛtəˌneɪt) /


to cause (a bomb, mine, etc) to explode or (of a bomb, mine, etc) to explode; set off or be set off

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