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[det-n-eyt] /ˈdɛt nˌeɪt/
verb (used without object), detonated, detonating.
to explode with suddenness and violence.
verb (used with object), detonated, detonating.
to cause (something explosive) to explode.
1720-30; < Latin dētonātus thundered forth (past participle of dētonāre), equivalent to dē- de- + ton(āre) to thunder + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
[det-n-uh-buh l] /ˈdɛt n ə bəl/ (Show IPA),
detonatable, adjective
detonability, detonatability, noun
nondetonating, adjective
undetonated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for detonated
  • When detonated, the individual flashes created brilliant rings of fire in a cone formation.
  • The earlier model's explosives detonated three to five microseconds after a warhead strike.
  • It was later revealed that a captain and a lieutenant had planted the explosives, which detonated by mistake.
  • What caught almost everyone off-guard was the tear-gas canister that was detonated in the debating chamber.
  • The tech bubble burst and the housing bubble detonated.
  • The cause was not a malfunctioning alien star-cruiser but a small asteroid or comet that detonated as it approached the ground.
  • detonated, the explosive crushed in on the plutonium.
  • Police said two homemade bombs were hidden inside police cones and a third was detonated in a rubbish bin.
  • Only one of the three pipe bombs in the duct-tape-clad package actually detonated.
  • Some of the rebels were suicide bombers who detonated explosives attached to their waists.
British Dictionary definitions for detonated


to cause (a bomb, mine, etc) to explode or (of a bomb, mine, etc) to explode; set off or be set off
Word Origin
C18: from Latin dētonāre to thunder down, from de- + tonāre to thunder
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
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Word Origin and History for detonated



1729, a back-formation from detonation, or else from Latin detonatus, past participle of detonare. Related: Detonated; detonating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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