Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act of exploding.
  • n. An explosion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An explosion or sudden report made by the near-instantaneous decomposition or combustion of unstable substances as, the detonation of gun cotton. Specifically, combustion that spreads supersonically via shock compression.
  • n. Engine knocking, an improper combustion in internal combustion engines

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An explosion or sudden report made by the instantaneous decomposition or combustion of unstable substances.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An explosion or sudden report made by heating or striking certain combustible bodies, as fulminating gold; explosion in mass.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of detonating an explosive
  • n. a violent release of energy caused by a chemical or nuclear reaction

Etymologies

From French détonation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Even minor deterioration at any part of the weapon will cause it to fail to detonate altogether; accidental detonation is about as likely as conservatives having an intelligent idea.

    Think Progress » Lieberman Gets A Chuckle Out Of Peddling Far-Right Nuke Myth

  • Hoodathunk (sponsored by the FSM, Noodles for Freedom!) says: accidental detonation is about as likely as conservatives having an intelligent idea.

    Think Progress » Lieberman Gets A Chuckle Out Of Peddling Far-Right Nuke Myth

  • They were rendered today, but I don't know if the word detonation is entirely correct, because, as I understand it, they were not explosives in those packages, but they were rendered safe because they were suspicious and a person was taken into custody for questioning.

    CNN Transcript May 18, 2002

  • He thinks it was for the main detonation scene, where there’s a crowd of shoppers running down The Moor, and a nuke is exploded.

    The Last Train | SciFi UK Review

  • ROBERTS: In other words, you get what's called detonation, which can destroy an engine.

    CNN Transcript Apr 28, 2008

  • The official word on North Korea's nuclear test is that the detonation was a nuclear event with a sub-kilo explosion, which matches what you've been reading on this site since the day after the test.

    10/17/2006

  • When she lit the lighter we got what I would call, don't want to use the word detonation, would say more of a flash. "

    Latest Articles

  • • A few Middle East homicide bombers have been killed by police / military responders, some have been wrestled into submission by bus drivers, but most use the element of surprise where the detonation is the first indication of their presence.

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  • As I recall the detonation of a nuclear device in space would cause a massive EMF pulse (Electro-Magnetic force Pulse) that could trash electronics.

    Slashdot

  • He had to double charge the case to get that kind of detonation and especially blowing the top strap clean off!

    An Expert Gunsmith on Over-Pressure Rounds and Exploding Handguns

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