First recorded around 1538, from the Latin verb explōdere(“drive out or off by clapping”). The meaning was originally theatrical, "to drive an actor off the stage by making noise," hence meaning to "to drive out" or "to reject". From ex-(“out”) + plaudere(“to clap; to applaud”). In English it used to mean to "drive out with violence and sudden noise" (from around 1660), and later meaning to "go off with a loud noise" (from around 1790).
The sense of "bursting with destructive force" is first recorded around 1882.
Astrology is required by many famous physicians […] doubted of, and exploded by others.
1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
[W]henever the person who is possessed of [natural goodness] doth what is right, no ravished or friendly spectator is so eager or so loud in his applause: on the contrary, when he doth wrong, no critic is so apt to hiss and explode him.
2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 43:
But signalman Bridges was never to answer driver Gimbert's desperate question. A deafening, massive blast blew the wagon to shreds, the 44 high-explosive bombs exploding like simultaneous hits from the aircraft they should have been dropped from. The station was instantly reduced to bits of debris, and the line to a huge crater.
to explode into the mainstream; to explode onto the scene
2022 February 26, David Rozado, Musa al-Gharbi, Jamin Halberstadt, “Use of ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ in the New York Times increased over 400% since 2012. Why?”, in The Guardian:
In recent years, words and ideas used to describe discrimination against members of historically marginalized and disadvantaged groups have seemingly exploded into the lexicon: systemic inequality, privilege, white supremacy, the patriarchy, etc.
A.I. text-to-image generators such as Stable Diffusion, Midjourney and DALL-E exploded onto the scene this year and in mere months have become widely used to create all sorts of images, ranging from digital art pieces to character designs.
1992, Steve Tibbett, “PKZIP Implode compression/decompression.”, in comp.compression (Usenet):
I'm looking for some code that will implode data using the PKZIP method.. and explode it. PKWare sells an object that you can link with that does the job, and we have licensed this, but we are now writing 32 bit code for MS-DOS and the PKWare stuff won't work […]
(transitive) To open all doors and hatches on an automobile.
(intransitive, board gaming) Of a die, to produce the highest face result and consequently reroll.