Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

explode - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     explode pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleexploding
past tenseexploded
past participleexploded
  1. 1
    [intransitive]Sound effect to burst with a lot of force and a loud noise

    Bombs were exploding all over the city.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something burst with a lot of force and a loud noise

      Terrorists have exploded bombs across the country.

    2. b.
      [intransitive] literary to make a sudden loud noise
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to express strong emotions in a sudden, noisy, and often violent way

    When I told Ian that Maggie had refused to come, he simply exploded.

    explode in/with:

    She suddenly exploded with rage, and stormed off.

    explode into:

    The room exploded into uproar when the fire alarm went off.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to increase a lot in size, amount, or importance over a very short period of time

    The increased availability of food has caused the deer population to explode.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to prove that a story or theory that many people believe is in fact false

    Scientists wanted to explode the myth of a monster living in the lake.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to move very quickly

    A group of youths exploded out of the door.

    explode into:

    Suddenly, behind her, the stage explodes into life.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play