burst / bərst/ • v. (past and past part. burst) [intr.] (of a container) break suddenly and violently apart, spilling the contents, typically as a result of an impact or internal pressure: we inflated dozens of balloons and only one burst. ∎ [tr.] cause to break, esp. by puncturing: he burst the balloon in my face. ∎ [tr.] (of contents) break open (a container) from the inside by growing too large to be held: the swollen river was expected to burst its banks. ∎ [tr.] suffer from the sudden breaking of (a bodily organ or vessel): he burst a blood vessel during a fit of coughing. ∎ be so full as almost to break open: the drawers were bursting with clothes. ∎ feel a very strong or irrepressible emotion or impulse: he was bursting with joy and excitement she was bursting to say something. ∎ suddenly begin doing something as an expression of a strong feeling: if anyone said anything to upset me, I'd burst out crying. ∎ issue suddenly and uncontrollably, as though from a splitting container: an aircraft crashed and burst into flames. ∎ be opened suddenly and forcibly: a door burst open and a girl raced out.• n. an instance of breaking or splitting as a result of internal pressure or puncturing; an explosion. ∎ a sudden issuing forth: her breath was coming in short bursts. ∎ a sudden outbreak, typically short and often violent or noisy: a sudden burst of activity. ∎ a short, sudden, and intense effort: he sailed 474 miles in one 24-hour burst.PHRASES: burst someone's bubble shatter someone's illusions about something or destroy someone's sense of well-being.
Hence burst sb. XVII.