View synonyms for detonation


[ det-n-ey-shuhn ]


  1. the act of detonating.
  2. an explosion.
  3. Machinery. the premature spontaneous burning of a fuel–air mixture in an internal-combustion engine due to the high temperature of air compressed in a cylinder.

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Other Words From

  • deto·native adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of detonation1

1670–80; < Medieval Latin dētonātiōn- (stem of dētonātiō ), equivalent to Latin dētonāt ( us ) ( detonate ) + -iōn- -ion

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Example Sentences

We hear more of Joan than Peter, and Dowd animates the text with unpredictable detonations.

That would be unfortunate for his city, but not as unfortunate as the detonation of dozens of tons of volatile hydrocarbons.

They said they hope whoever is responsible for the detonation pays for the costs of its aftermath.

The scenario is still hypothetical, Caplan admits — more research is needed to determine if uranium snowflakes could really spur a stellar detonation.

These include asteroid and comet impacts, the detonation of nearby supernovae, and dangerous stellar radiation from their host stars.

In midafternoon we actually felt the detonation of two bombs a couple of miles away.

One official surveying the destruction likened it to a nuclear detonation.

I pretty much thought I was going to die in a nuclear detonation before I was 15.

Krytrons are sophisticated triggers for the detonation of nuclear bombs.

At that, there was what could only be described as a diva detonation.

At the same instant a detonation was heard, and a bullet cut away a branch just over the Chiefs head.

Two minutes afterwards the ship blew up with a glorious detonation.

The word explosion is always used concretely (an explosion, or a detonation as chemists commonly call it).

For a long time the detonation of the artillery and the rattle of musketry continued unabated.

There was a flare of colored lights, a deafening detonation—and he felt himself knocked breathless against a wall.


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