[ ik-sploh-zhuh n ]
/ ɪkˈsploʊ ʒən /


an act or instance of exploding; a violent expansion or bursting with noise, as of gunpowder or a boiler (opposed to implosion).
the noise itself: The loud explosion woke them.
a violent outburst, as of laughter or anger.
a sudden, rapid, or great increase: a population explosion.
the burning of the mixture of fuel and air in an internal-combustion engine.
Phonetics. plosion.

Nearby words

  1. explore,
  2. explorer,
  3. explorer tent,
  4. explosible,
  5. explosimeter,
  6. explosion shot,
  7. explosion welding,
  8. explosive,
  9. explosive d,
  10. explosive forming

Origin of explosion

1615–25; < Latin explōsiōn- (stem of explōsiō), equivalent to explōs(us) driven off by clapping (past participle of explōdere to explode) + -iōn- -ion

Related formspost·ex·plo·sion, adjectivepre·ex·plo·sion, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for explosion

British Dictionary definitions for explosion


/ (ɪkˈspləʊʒən) /


the act or an instance of exploding
a violent release of energy resulting from a rapid chemical or nuclear reaction, esp one that produces a shock wave, loud noise, heat, and lightCompare implosion (def. 1)
a sudden or violent outburst of activity, noise, emotion, etc
a rapid increase, esp in a population
phonetics another word for plosion

Word Origin for explosion

C17: from Latin explōsiō, from explōdere to explode

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 explosion



1620s, "action of driving out with violence and noise," from French explosion, from Latin explosionem (nominative explosio), noun of action from past participle stem of explodere "drive out by clapping" (see explode for origin and sense evolution). Meaning "going off with violence and noise" is from 1660s. Sense of "rapid increase or development" is first attested 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for explosion


[ ĭk-splōzhən ]

A violent blowing apart or bursting caused by energy released from a very fast chemical reaction, a nuclear reaction, or the escape of gases under pressure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.