Origin of detonate
- Latin dētonāre dētonāt- to thunder down dē- de- tonāre to thunder (s)tenə- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin detonāre. It meant "to stop thundering", e.g. as in weather (de- = "from", tonare = "to thunder"). The current English meaning seems to be a new formation in postclassical times.