• (America) IPA: /bɝst/
  • (British) IPA: /bɜːst/

burst (bursts, present participle bursting; past burst, past participle burst)

  1. (intransitive) To break from internal pressure.
    I blew the balloon up too much, and it burst.
  2. (transitive) To cause to break from internal pressure.
    I burst the balloon when I blew it up too much.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To cause to break by any means.
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act INDUCTION, scene i]:
      You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
    • He burst his lance against the sand below.
  4. (transitive) To separate (printer paper) at perforation lines.
    I printed the report on form-feed paper, then burst the sheets.
  5. (intransitive) To enter or exit hurriedly and unexpectedly.
    • 1913, Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs, translated by E. MunguÍa, Jr.
      Like hungry dogs who have sniffed their meat, the mob bursts in, trampling down the women who sought to bar the entrance with their bodies.
  6. (intransitive) To erupt; to change state suddenly as if bursting.
    The flowers burst into bloom on the first day of spring.
  7. (transitive) To produce as an effect of bursting.
    to burst a hole through the wall
    • 1856, Eleanor Marx-Aveling (translator), Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Part III Chapter X
      He entered Maromme shouting for the people of the inn, burst open the door with a thrust of his shoulder, made for a sack of oats, emptied a bottle of sweet cider into the manger, and again mounted his nag, whose feet struck fire as it dashed along.
  8. (transitive) To interrupt suddenly in a violent or explosive manner; to shatter.
Related terms Translations Translations Noun

burst (plural bursts)

  1. An act or instance of bursting.
    The bursts of the bombs could be heard miles away.
  2. A sudden, often intense, expression, manifestation or display.
    Synonyms: spurt
    • 1860/1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
      "It's my wedding-day," cried Biddy, in a burst of happiness, "and I am married to Joe!"
  3. A series of shots fired from an automatic firearm.
  4. (archaic) A drinking spree.

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