Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Saturday August 17, 2013
to explode; to burst; to break out
The key idea behind estallar is an explosion of some kind, either literal or metaphorical.
La bomba estalló justo en medio de la mezquita
The bomb exploded right in the middle of the mosque
Apart from bombs, estallar is used to talk about a tyre bursting:
Las llantas traseras estallaron simultáneamente
The rear tyres burst at the same time
... and also to talk about events which can be explosive in one way or another, such as revolutions, violence and wars.
al estallar la guerra en Europa
when war broke out in Europe
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