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[ik-sploh-zhuh n] /ɪkˈsploʊ ʒən/
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 forms
postexplosion, adjective
preexplosion, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for explosion
  • Witnesses said a huge explosion sent billows of smoke over the area and spread panic.
  • There are many reasons for the information explosion.
  • The terrific noise it emitted was an explosion which made it erupt several fragments of volcanic materials.
  • They'll benefit from fall and winter rains and produce an explosion of bloom in springtime.
  • Astronomers have witnessed a cosmic explosion so strange they don't even know what to call it.
  • Third, he admits that there might also be a bit of an explosion in administrators and service personnel.
  • The explosion demolished four buildings and shattered windows in a large area.
  • Even the site of the explosion seems to be bursting with life.
  • The explosion appears to have been caused by a buildup of methane.
  • As he and his crew navigated through the darkness, a fiery explosion lit up the skyline.
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 light Compare implosion (sense 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
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
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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
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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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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