- a device, as a percussion cap, used to make another substance explode.
- something that explodes.
Origin of detonator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for detonator
I was the one to trigger the detonator, and for that I take full responsibility.Hell Hath No Fury Like Valerie Trierweiler, the French President’s Ex
November 28, 2014
“I press the detonator and I am the only one responsible,” Trierweiler writes of the tweet, as excerpted Wednesday in Le Monde.Hollande's Jilted Lover Valerie Trierweiler Tells All
September 3, 2014
After agents went into the van and confirmed that the detonator had been activated, they arrested him.New York Terror Plot: Why Target the Fed?
October 18, 2012
I like to say that I was like a bomb but the detonator was missing.Claude Lanzmann on 'Shoah', His Memoir, and the Banality of Evil
June 11, 2012
The pressing of this ball actuates a detonator inside the flask I carry in my pocket.The Secret Agent
But this is only a single barrel, and an old-fashioned sort of detonator.Night and Morning, Complete
It was to destroy itself; the Solarite would merely be the detonator to set it off!The Black Star Passes
John W Campbell
The instant he brought the wires in contact, the detonator went off.Dynamite Stories
This ignition fired a detonator, which in turn fired the dynamite.
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper