—v.i. 1. to break, break open, or fly apart with sudden violence: The bitter cold caused the pipes to burst. 2. to issue forth suddenly and forcibly, as from confinement or through an obstacle: Oil burst to the surface. He burst through the doorway. 3. to give sudden expression to or as if to emotion: to burst into applause; to burst into tears. 4. to be extremely full, as if ready to break open: The house was bursting with people. 5. to appear suddenly; become visible, audible, evident, etc., all at once: The sun burst through the clouds.
—v.t. 1. to cause to break or break open suddenly and violently: He burst the balloon. 2. to cause or suffer the rupture of: to burst a blood vessel. 3. to separate (the parts of a multipart stationery form consisting of interleaved paper and carbon paper).
4. burst at the seams, to be filled to or beyond normal capacity: This room will be bursting at the seams when all the guests arrive.
—n. 1. an act or instance of bursting.
2. a sudden, intense display, as of activity, energy, or effort: The car passed us with a burst of speed. 3. a sudden expression or manifestation, as of emotion: a burst of affection. 4. a sudden and violent issuing forth: a burst of steam from the pipe. 5. Mil. a. the explosion of a projectile, esp. in a specified place: an air burst. b. a rapid sequence of shots fired by one pull on the trigger of an automatic weapon: A burst from the machine gun shattered all the windows. 6. the result of bursting; breach; gap: a burst in the dike. 7. a sudden appearance or opening to view.