American English

Definition of detonate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[intransitive, transitive] detonate (something)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they detonate
he / she / it detonates
past simple detonated
-ing form detonating
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to explode, or to make a bomb or other device explode Two other bombs failed to detonate. Thesaurusexplodeblow up go off burst erupt detonateThese are all words that can be used when something bursts apart violently, causing damage or injury.explode to burst loudly and violently, causing damage; to make something burst in this way:The jet smashed into a hillside and exploded. The bomb was exploded under controlled conditions.blow (something) up (somewhat informal) to be destroyed by an explosion; to destroy something by an explosion:A police officer was killed when her car blew up.go off (of a bomb) to explode; (of a gun) to be fired:The bomb went off in a crowded street. When used about guns, the choice of go off (instead of “be fired”) can suggest that the gun was fired by accident.burst to break open or apart, especially because of pressure from inside; to make something break in this way:A water pipe burst and flooded the kitchen.erupt (of a volcano) to throw out burning rocks and smoke; (of burning rocks and smoke) to be thrown out of a volcano:Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980.detonate (somewhat formal) (of a bomb) to explode; to make a bomb explode:Two other bombs failed to detonate.Patterns a bomb explodes/blows up/goes off/bursts/detonates a car/plane/vehicle explodes/blows up a firework/rocket explodes/goes off
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: detonate