Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To come open or fly apart suddenly or violently, especially from internal pressure.
  • intransitive verb To explode.
  • intransitive verb To be or seem to be full to the point of breaking open.
  • intransitive verb To emerge, come forth, or arrive suddenly.
  • intransitive verb To come apart or seem to come apart because of overwhelming emotion.
  • intransitive verb To give sudden utterance or expression.
  • intransitive verb To cause to burst: synonym: break.
  • intransitive verb To exert strong pressure in order to force (something) open.
  • intransitive verb To separate (a continuous form or printout) into individual sheets.
  • noun A sudden outbreak or outburst; an explosion.
  • noun The result of bursting, especially the explosion of a projectile or bomb on impact or in the air.
  • noun The number of bullets fired from an automatic weapon by one pull of the trigger.
  • noun A volley of bullets fired from an automatic weapon.
  • noun An abrupt, intense increase; a rush.
  • noun A period of intense activity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sudden disruption; a violent rending.
  • noun A sudden explosion or shooting forth; a rush; an out-burst: as, a burst of applause; a burst of passion; “burst of thunder,”
  • noun A rupture; a hernia.
  • noun 4. A smart race; a spurt.
  • noun A sudden opening to sight or view.
  • noun A spree.
  • To fly or break open as an effect of internal forces and with sudden violence; suffer a violent disruption; explode.
  • Hence—2. Figuratively, to break or give way from violent pain or emotion: as, my head will burst; her heart burst with grief.
  • To come or go suddenly; rush: as, the enemy in an instant burst upon us.
  • To rend by force or violence (that which confines or retains); open suddenly and violently; cause to explode: as, to burst one's bonds; to burst a cannon.
  • To break, in general.
  • Synonyms (intransitive verb and t.) To split, separate, rend, tear.
  • In pin-pool billiards, to go beyond a score of 31; in ball-pool, to smash at the pyramid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A sudden breaking forth; a violent rending; an explosion.
  • noun Any brief, violent exertion or effort; a spurt.
  • noun rare A sudden opening, as of landscape; a stretch; an expanse.
  • noun A rupture or hernia; a breach.
  • intransitive verb To fly apart or in pieces; of break open; to yield to force or pressure, especially to a sudden and violent exertion of force, or to pressure from within; to explode.
  • intransitive verb To exert force or pressure by which something is made suddenly to give way; to break through obstacles or limitations; hence, to appear suddenly and unexpectedly or unaccountably, or to depart in such manner; -- usually with some qualifying adverb or preposition, as forth, out, away, into, upon, through, etc.
  • transitive verb To break or rend by violence, as by an overcharge or by strain or pressure, esp. from within; to force open suddenly.
  • transitive verb obsolete To break.
  • transitive verb To produce as an effect of bursting.
  • transitive verb See under Charge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An instance of, or the act of bursting.
  • verb intransitive To break from internal pressure.
  • verb transitive To cause to break from internal pressure.
  • verb transitive To separate formfeed at perforation lines
  • verb intransitive To enter or exit hurriedly and unexpectedly..

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

  • verb be in a state of movement or action
  • verb burst outward, usually with noise
  • verb force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up
  • noun the act of exploding or bursting
  • verb come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bursten, from Old English berstan.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English bersten, from Old English berstan, from Proto-Germanic *brestanan (compare West Frisian boarste, Dutch barsten, Swedish brista), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰre-s-t- (compare Irish bris ‘to break’), enlargement of *bʰreHi- ‘to snip, split’. More at brine.

Examples

  • The word burst from her mouth like helium from a balloon.

    Maggie Bean in Love

  • The word burst from her mouth like helium from a balloon.

    Maggie Bean in Love

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

  • Wait, Reyes said, feeling the word burst from his mouth before he could stop it.

    Reap the Whirlwind

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