Meaning of “explode” in the English Dictionary

"explode" in British English

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uk /ɪkˈspləʊd/ us /ɪkˈsploʊd/

explode verb (BREAK APART)

B1 [ I or T ] to break up into pieces violently, or to cause something to do this:

A bomb exploded at one of the capital's busiest railway stations this morning.
He was driving so fast that his car tyre exploded.

More examples

  • If you pull the pin out of a hand-grenade, it'll explode.
  • The plane dived towards the ground and exploded in a ball of flame.
  • Witnesses reported seeing a huge orange fireball as the oil refinery exploded.
  • The terrorists exploded the device just as a convoy was passing.
  • She could hear the distant sound of fireworks exploding.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “explode” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"explode" in American English

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us /ɪkˈsploʊd/

explode verb (BURST)

[ I/T ] to burst violently and usually with a loud noise, or to cause this to happen:

[ I ] A bomb exploded nearby.
[ T ] Black holes are left behind by exploding stars called supernovas.
[ I ] fig. Yoga has exploded in popularity as a way to achieve physical and mental health.

explode verb (SHOW EMOTION)

[ I ] to show sudden violent emotion, esp. anger:

He exploded in anger when told his luggage had been lost.

explode verb (INCREASE)

[ I ] to increase very quickly:

The population is exploding in that part of the world.

explode verb (PROVE FALSE)

[ T ] to prove to be false or wrong:

She hopes that this book will explode myths about poverty and intelligence.

(Definition of “explode” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)