a device, as a percussion cap, used to make another substance explode.
something that explodes.

Nearby words

  1. detick,
  2. detinue,
  3. detmold,
  4. detonate,
  5. detonation,
  6. detour,
  7. detox,
  8. detoxicant,
  9. detoxicate,
  10. detoxification

Origin of detonator

First recorded in 1815–25; detonate + -or2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for detonator

British Dictionary definitions for detonator



a small amount of explosive, as in a percussion cap, used to initiate a larger explosion
a device, such as an electrical generator, used to set off an explosion from a distance
a substance or object that explodes or is capable of exploding
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 detonator



1822, agent noun in Latin form from detonate. For suffix, see -er (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper