[ik-sploh-zhuh n]


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.

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

Contemporary Examples of explosion

Historical Examples of explosion

  • He must 'a' got caught in an explosion of freckles sometime.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • This explosion of the doctor's meant that he invited and awaited some contradiction.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Last of all, there was the explosion, the carrying off of the coin in its canvas sacks to the horses.

  • But the way they'll find it out will be in an explosion that will wipe them out.

  • It fell slowly, with a crash that was like a faint echo of the explosion.

British Dictionary definitions for explosion



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

explosion in Science



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.