Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: explodere 'to drive off the stage by clapping', from plaudere 'to clap'

explode

verb
     
ex‧plode
1

burst

[intransitive and transitive] to burst, or to make something burst, into small pieces, usually with a loud noise and in a way that causes damage [↪ explosion]:
The device was thrown at an army patrol but failed to explode.
Far sooner than anyone thought possible, the Russians exploded an atomic bomb.
2

increase suddenly

[intransitive] to suddenly increase greatly in number, amount, or degree [= rocket; ↪ explosion]:
Florida's population exploded after World War II.
3

strong feelings

[intransitive] to suddenly express strong feelings such as anger explosion
Paul exploded. 'What has it got to do with you?' he yelled.
explode with
She exploded with grief and anger.
He told a joke which made Hank explode with laughter.
explode into
He exploded into a screaming, kicking rage.
4

become dangerous

[intransitive] if a situation explodes, it is suddenly no longer controlled, and is often violent [= blow up]:
Riots may explode at any time.
explode into
The continued tension could explode into more violence.
5

explode the myth

to prove that something that is believed by many people is actually wrong or not true:
The programme sets out to explode the myth that some delicate tropical fish are impossible to keep.
6

make a loud noise

[intransitive] to make a very loud noise [↪ explosion]:
A clap of thunder exploded overhead.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary