Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: berstan

burst

1 verb
     
burst1 past tense and past participle burst
1

break open

[intransitive and transitive] if something bursts or if you burst it, it breaks open or apart suddenly and violently so that its contents come out:
The pipes had burst and the house was under two feet of water.
2

be bursting with something

to have a lot of something or be filled with something:
John was bursting with ideas and good humour.
The shops are bursting with food.
be bursting with pride/energy/excitement etc
Your mum's bursting with pride for you.
3

move suddenly

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move somewhere suddenly or quickly, especially into or out of a place
burst into/through/in etc
Jo burst into the room.
4

burst open

to open suddenly:
The door burst open and Tom ran into the room.
5

be bursting to do something

informal to want to do something very much:
Zach was bursting to tell them something.
6

be bursting

a) British English informalHBH to need to go to the toilet very soon
b) also be bursting at the seams to be so full that nothing else can fit inside
7

burst somebody's bubble

informal to destroy someone's beliefs or hopes about something:
Steve was so happy I couldn't bear to burst his bubble.
8

burst its banks

if a river bursts its banks, water from it goes on to the land

➔ full (up) to bursting

at full1 (1)

; ➔ burst the bubble

at bubble1 (6)

; ➔ the bubble bursts

at bubble1 (5)

burst in on/upon somebody/something

phrasal verb
to interrupt something by entering a room, in a way that embarrasses you or other people:
I'm sorry to burst in on you like this.

burst into something

phrasal verb
1 to suddenly begin to make a sound, especially to start singing, crying, or laughing:
Claire looked as if she were about to burst into tears.
Suddenly, the group burst into laughter.
2

burst into flames/flame

to suddenly start to burn very strongly:
Their car crashed and burst into flames.

burst onto/upon/on something

phrasal verb
to suddenly appear and become very successful:
The band burst onto the music scene in 1997.

burst out

phrasal verb
1

burst out laughing/crying/singing etc

to suddenly start to laugh, cry etc:
Everyone burst out laughing.
2 to suddenly say something in a forceful way:
'I don't believe it!' she burst out angrily.
WORD FOCUS: break WORD FOCUS: break
smash with a lot of force
shatter
into many pieces
split
into two pieces
snap
into two pieces, with a sudden loud noise
tear
paper/cloth
burst
pipe/tyre/balloon
crumble
break into a lot of small pieces
disintegrate
break into a lot of small pieces and be destroyed
fracture
if a bone fractures or you fracture it, it breaks slightly so that a small line appears on the surface


See also
break

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