[ ik-splohd ]
See synonyms for: explodeexplodedexploding on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object),ex·plod·ed, ex·plod·ing.
  1. to expand with force and noise because of rapid chemical change or decomposition, as gunpowder or nitroglycerine (opposed to implode).

  2. to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report, as a boiler from excessive pressure of steam.

  1. to burst forth violently or emotionally, especially with noise, laughter, violent speech, etc.: He exploded with rage when contradicted.

  2. Phonetics. (of plosives) to terminate the occlusive phase with a plosion.: Compare implode (def. 2).

  3. Golf. to play an explosion shot on a golf ball.

verb (used with object),ex·plod·ed, ex·plod·ing.
  1. to cause (gunpowder, a boiler, etc.) to explode.

  2. to cause to be rejected; destroy the repute of; discredit or disprove: to explode a theory.

  1. Phonetics. to end with plosion.

  2. Golf. to play an explosion shot on (a golf ball).

  3. Obsolete. to drive (a player, play, etc.) from the stage by loud expressions of disapprobation.

Origin of explode

1530–40; <Latin explōdere to drive off by clapping, drive away, equivalent to ex-ex-1 + plod- variant stem of plaudere to clap, beat

Other words from explode

  • ex·plod·er, noun
  • pre·ex·plode, verb, pre·ex·plod·ed, pre·ex·plod·ing.
  • un·ex·plod·ed, adjective

Words Nearby explode

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use explode in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for explode


/ (ɪkˈspləʊd) /

  1. to burst or cause to burst with great violence as a result of internal pressure, esp through the detonation of an explosive; blow up

  2. to destroy or be destroyed in this manner: to explode a bridge

  1. (of a gas) to undergo or cause (a gas) to undergo a sudden violent expansion, accompanied by heat, light, a shock wave, and a loud noise, as a result of a fast uncontrolled exothermic chemical or nuclear reaction

  2. (intr) to react suddenly or violently with emotion, etc: to explode with anger

  3. (intr) (esp of a population) to increase rapidly

  4. (tr) to show (a theory, etc) to be baseless; refute and make obsolete

  5. (tr) phonetics to pronounce (a stop) with audible plosion

Origin of explode

C16: from Latin explōdere to drive off by clapping, hiss (an actor) off, from ex- 1 + plaudere to clap

Derived forms of explode

  • exploder, noun

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