AskDefine | Define explosion

Dictionary Definition



1 a violent release of energy caused by a chemical or nuclear reaction [syn: detonation, blowup]
2 the act of exploding or bursting something; "the explosion of the firecrackers awoke the children"; "the burst of an atom bomb creates enormous radiation aloft" [syn: burst]
3 a sudden great increase; "the population explosion"; "the information explosion"
4 the noise caused by an explosion; "the explosion was heard a mile away"
5 the terminal forced release of pressure built up during the occlusive phase of a stop consonant [syn: plosion]
6 a sudden outburst; "an explosion of laughter"; "an explosion of rage"
7 a golf shot from a bunker that typically moves sand as well as the golf ball

User Contributed Dictionary



From explōsiōnis, genitive form of explōsio < explōdo "I drive out by clapping" < ex- and plōdo "I clap or strike"


  • italbrac RP /ɪkˈspləʊ.ʒən/
  • italbrac US /ɛkˈsploʊ.ʒən/


  1. A violent release of energy (sometimes mechanical, nuclear, or chemical.)
  2. A bursting due to pressure.
  3. The sound of an explosion.
  4. A sudden increase.
  5. A sudden outburst.

Related terms


a violent release of energy
a bursting due to pressure
the sound of an explosion
a sudden increase
a sudden outburst



explosion f
  1. Explosion.

Extensive Definition

An explosion''' is a sudden increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave.

Types of explosives


Explosions do not commonly occur in nature. Below Earth, most natural explosions arise from volcanic processes of various sorts. Explosive volcanic eruptions occur when magma rising from below has much dissolved gas in it; the reduction of pressure as the magma rises causes the gas to bubble out of solution, resulting in a rapid increase in volume. Explosions also occur as a result of impact events. On other planets, volcanoes and impacts cause explosions with various frequency.


The most common artificial explosives are chemical explosives, usually involving a rapid and violent oxidation reaction that produces large amounts of hot gas. Gunpowder was the first explosive to be discovered and put to use. Other notable early developments in chemical explosive technology were Frederick Augustus Abel's development of nitrocellulose in 1865 and Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite in 1866.


A nuclear weapon is a type of explosive weapon that derives its destructive force from the nuclear reaction of fission or from a combination of fission and fusion. As a result, even a nuclear weapon with a small yield is significantly more powerful than the largest conventional explosives available, with a single weapon capable of destroying an entire city.


A high current electrical fault can create an electrical explosion by forming a high energy electrical arc which rapidly vaporizes metal and insulation material. Also, excessive magnetic pressure within an ultra-strong electromagnet can cause a magnetic explosion.


Boiling liquid expanding vapour explosions are a type of explosion that can occur when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid is ruptured, causing a rapid increase in volume as the liquid evaporates.


Solar flares are an example of explosion common on the Sun, and presumably on most other stars as well. The energy source for solar flare activity comes from the tangling of magnetic field lines resulting from the rotation of the Sun's conductive plasma.


Strictly a physical process, as opposed to chemical or nuclear, eg, a the bursting of a sealed or partially-sealed container under internal pressure is often referred to as a 'mechanical explosion'. Examples include an overheated boiler or a simple tin can of beans tossed into a fire. A BLEVE (see above) is one type of mechanical explosion, but depending on the contents of the container, the effects can be dramatically more serious - consider a propane tank in the midst of a fire. In such a case, to the limited effects of the simple mechanical explosion when the tank fails are added the chemical explosion resulting from the released (initially liquid and then almost instanteaously gaseous) propane in the presence of an ignition source. For this reason, emergency workers often differentiate between the two events.
Among the largest known explosions in the universe are supernovae, which result from stars exploding, and gamma ray bursts, whose nature is still in some dispute.

Use in war

explosion in Arabic: إنفجار
explosion in Bulgarian: Взрив
explosion in Czech: Výbuch
explosion in Danish: Eksplosion
explosion in German: Explosion
explosion in Modern Greek (1453-): Έκρηξη
explosion in Spanish: Explosión
explosion in Esperanto: Eksplodo
explosion in French: Explosion
explosion in Korean: 폭발
explosion in Croatian: Eksplozija
explosion in Indonesian: Ledakan
explosion in Icelandic: Sprenging
explosion in Italian: Esplosione
explosion in Hebrew: פיצוץ
explosion in Dutch: Explosie
explosion in Japanese: 爆発
explosion in Norwegian: Eksplosjon
explosion in Polish: Wybuch
explosion in Portuguese: Explosão
explosion in Russian: Взрыв
explosion in Simple English: Explosion
explosion in Slovak: Explózia
explosion in Slovenian: Eksplozija
explosion in Serbian: Експлозија
explosion in Finnish: Räjähdys
explosion in Swedish: Explosion
explosion in Vietnamese: Nổ
explosion in Ukrainian: Вибух
explosion in Chinese: 爆炸

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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