Implosion vs explosion

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Implosion and explosion are two words that are often confused. We will examine the difference between the definitions for implosion and explosion, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

An implosion is the destruction of something by a collapse inward. Controlled implosions are often used in demolishing buildings. In an implosion designed to demolish a building, workers place devices in the areas that support the structure. The small explosions eliminate the support, causing the building to fall in on itself without injuring adjacent buildings or onlookers. The word implosion is also used to describe the collapse of a system or a person, in a figurative sense. The idea is that the collapse of the system or person is due to its own flaws and foibles. Implosion is a noun, the verb form is implode. Related words are implodes, imploded, imploding. The word implosion was coined in the 1820s, following the form of the word explosion.

An explosion is the violent destruction of something by blowing it apart. Explosions are seldom controlled, and are often the result of a bomb or volatile gases. Explosion is also used to mean a sudden emotional outburst, or a sudden blowing apart of a system, in a figurative sense. Explosion is a noun, the verb form is explode. Related words are explodes, exploded, exploding. The word explosion is derived from the Latin word explosionem, meaning to drive off through clapping. This is an expression for the Ancient Roman practice of clapping at actors in plays that they didn’t like, until the actor was forced to leave the stage.


Although construction crews said the implosion did break off steel beams, the stadium was still standing when the dust cleared. (The Washington Post)

But the senator never truly recovered from his implosion on stage in New Hampshire, clearing the way for Trump. (The Washington Examiner)

This year saw major explosion in ransomware attacks in which attackers limit a user’s access their own system till a certain ransom is paid to unlock it. (The Hindu)