[ik-splohd] /ɪkˈsploʊd/

verb (used without object), exploded, exploding.
to expand with force and noise because of rapid chemical change or decomposition, as gunpowder or nitroglycerine (opposed to ).
to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report, as a boiler from excessive pressure of steam.
to burst forth violently or emotionally, especially with noise, laughter, violent speech, etc.:
He exploded with rage when contradicted.
Phonetics. (of plosives) to terminate the occlusive phase with a plosion.
Compare (def 2).
Golf. to play an on a golf ball.
verb (used with object), exploded, exploding.
to cause (gunpowder, a boiler, etc.) to explode.
to cause to be rejected; destroy the repute of; discredit or disprove:
to explode a theory.
Phonetics. to end with plosion.
Golf. to play an on (a golf ball).
Obsolete. to drive (a player, play, etc.) from the stage by loud expressions of disapprobation.
to burst or cause to burst with great violence as a result of internal pressure, esp through the detonation of an explosive; blow up
to destroy or be destroyed in this manner: to explode a bridge
(of a gas) to undergo or cause (a gas) to undergo a sudden violent expansion, accompanied by heat, light, a shock wave, and a loud noise, as a result of a fast uncontrolled exothermic chemical or nuclear reaction
(intransitive) to react suddenly or violently with emotion, etc: to explode with anger
(intransitive) (esp of a population) to increase rapidly
(transitive) to show (a theory, etc) to be baseless; refute and make obsolete
(transitive) (phonetics) to pronounce (a stop) with audible plosion

1530s, “to reject with scorn,” from Latin explodere “drive out or off by clapping, hiss off, hoot off,” originally theatrical, “to drive an actor off the stage by making noise,” hence “drive out, reject” (a sense surviving in an exploded theory), from ex- “out” (see ex-) + plaudere “to clap the hands, applaud,” of uncertain origin. Athenian audiences were highly demonstrative. clapping and shouting approval, stamping, hissing, and hooting for disapproval. The Romans seem to have done likewise.

At the close of the performance of a comedy in the Roman theatre one of the actors dismissed the audience, with a request for their approbation, the expression being usually plaudite, vos plaudite, or vos valete et plaudite. [William Smith, “A First Latin Reading Book,” 1890]

English used it to mean “drive out with violence and sudden noise” (1650s), later, “go off with a loud noise” (American English, 1790); sense of “to burst with destructive force” is first recorded 1882; of population, 1959. Related: Exploded; exploding.


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