- the act of detonating.
- an explosion.
- Machinery. the premature spontaneous burning of a fuel–air mixture in an internal-combustion engine due to the high temperature of air compressed in a cylinder.
- an explosion or the act of exploding
- the spontaneous combustion in an internal-combustion engine of part of the mixture before it has been reached by the flame front, causing the engine to knock
- physics rapid combustion, esp that occurring within a shock wave
1670s, “explosion accompanied by loud sound,” from French détonation, from Medieval Latin detonationem (nominative detonatio), from Latin detonare “to thunder down, to release one’s thunder, roar out,” from de- “down” (see de-) + tonare “to thunder” (see thunder (n.)). Sense of “act of causing to explode” (mid-18c.) developed in French.