[ ik-sploh-zhuhn ]
See synonyms for: explosionexplosions on Thesaurus.com

  1. an act or instance of exploding; a violent expansion or bursting with noise, as of gunpowder or a boiler (opposed to implosion).

  2. the noise itself: The loud explosion woke them.

  1. a violent outburst, as of laughter or anger.

  2. a sudden, rapid, or great increase: a population explosion.

  3. the burning of the mixture of fuel and air in an internal-combustion engine.

  4. Phonetics. plosion.

Origin of explosion

First recorded in 1615–25; from Latin explōsiōn-, stem of explōsiō, from explōs(us) “driven off by clapping” (past participle of explōdere “to drive off by clapping, drive away”; see explode) + -iō -ion

Other words from explosion

  • post·ex·plo·sion, adjective
  • pre·ex·plo·sion, noun

Words Nearby explosion

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use explosion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for explosion


/ (ɪkˈspləʊʒən) /

  1. the act or an instance of exploding

  2. a violent release of energy resulting from a rapid chemical or nuclear reaction, esp one that produces a shock wave, loud noise, heat, and light: Compare implosion (def. 1)

  1. a sudden or violent outburst of activity, noise, emotion, etc

  2. a rapid increase, esp in a population

  3. phonetics another word for plosion

Origin of 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

Scientific definitions for explosion


[ ĭk-splōzhən ]

  1. 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.