det ‧ o ‧ nate /ˈdetəneɪt/ BrE AmE verb [intransitive and transitive]
[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: detonare , from tonare 'to thunder' ]
to explode or to make something explode
—detonation /ˌdetəˈneɪʃ ə n/ noun [uncountable]
• • •
■ to make something explode
▪ explode verb [transitive] to make a bomb burst suddenly and violently with a loud noise:
The terrorists planned to explode a car bomb outside the US embassy.
▪ set off phrasal verb to make a bomb explode, either deliberately or accidentally. Set off is less formal than explode and is the usual phrase to use in everyday English:
The group set off a bomb outside a crowded cafe in Izmir last September.
Police say radio signals were probably used to set the bomb off.
▪ detonate /ˈdetəneɪt/ verb [transitive] to make a bomb explode, especially by using special equipment. Detonate is a more technical word than set off :
Army experts detonated the bomb safely in a nearby field.
The 200 kg bomb was detonated by terrorists using a remote-control device.
▪ let off phrasal verb British English to deliberately make a bomb explode:
Terrorists let off a bomb in the city centre.
The bomb was let off shortly before 3 pm.
▪ blow up phrasal verb to make a building, car, plane etc explode:
He was involved in a plot to blow up a passenger jet.
He struck a match and blew the whole place up.