[ det-n-ey-shuh n ]
/ ˌdɛt nˈeɪ ʃən /


the act of detonating.
an explosion.
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.

Origin of detonation

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

Related forms

det·o·na·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detonation

British Dictionary definitions for detonation


/ (ˌdɛtəˈneɪʃən) /


an explosion or the act of exploding
the spontaneous combustion in an internal-combustion engine of part of the mixture before it has been reached by the flame front, causing the engine to knock
physics rapid combustion, esp that occurring within a shock wave

Derived Forms

detonative, adjective
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