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I saw this word in a news headline. It isn't found in any of 4 dictionaries I checked (PLC, CC, ADS for Pleco; YellowBridge.com).

劲 jin4 means strength, energy, or enthusiasm

爆 bao4 means explode or burst

Put them together & you get an enthusiasm explosion? Thanks to anyone who can give me a better understanding. Examples are welcome!

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You saw it on a news headline? Could it mean "NEWS FLASH" or "BREAKING NEWS" in Chinese? It might have been a pun with the other bao 報紙 that means news. –  Anonymous Aug 3 '13 at 3:27
    
Makes some sense, but strangely if you search for it on baidu.com almost all of the results that come up seem to relate to music or DJs. Breaking news about DJs? I dunno. –  aelephant Aug 3 '13 at 3:32
    
I searched for a sample sentence on baidu.com and used Google Translate. translate.google.com/?hl=en&tab=wT#zh-CN/en/… Apparently, it looks like a musical band name. Maybe we should look for musical bands named that. –  Anonymous Aug 3 '13 at 3:39
    
@aelephant, post a photo of the newspaper or a link if it's online so that we can better understand your question –  congliu Aug 24 '13 at 0:55
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5 Answers

I am native Cantonese speaker. 劲爆 comes from Cantonese.

劲 means strong/unyielding/tough/power. Similar to 厉害 in Mandarin. 爆 is a adverb, originally means "explosion", but here it means "very extremely", other example: 潮爆, 爽爆.

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The meaning of 劲爆 is basically the combination of what you have written. In English, an equivalent would be high-octane:

Informal. intense; dynamic; very powerful; energetic
The critics were impressed by Springsteen's high-octane performance.

In addition to that, 劲爆 can also refer to something sexually stimulating or news on celebrities that appear "shocking". For example:

美女大学生劲爆私房照
勁爆:李冰冰“二奶”私秘生活『圖』

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Quite apropos word! It reminds me a similar Chinese Internet slang 高能, e.g., "这个新闻太高能了,无法直视", "前方高能反应,请各位备好氪金狗眼". –  Stan Aug 3 '13 at 10:52
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I couldn't find a good reference on the origin of this word, but here is my understanding as a Mandarin speaker:

I believe this word comes from Cantonese, or is deeply influenced by Cantonese. Edit: It is confirmed from Cantonese, please refer to this answer for its meaning breakdown.

This word can be applied to news, music beats, highlight reels from sports or action movies, or lively performances. For example:

劲爆的演出 Hot performance

劲爆金曲 Greatest hits

一场劲爆的比赛 An extremely stimulus match

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I am a Chinese native speaker. I think this word is most similar to the English word "awesome", they are interchangeable.

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You can understand it from each character, 劲 means strong and powerful while 爆 means explosive. Thus, 劲爆 means powerful and explosive, i.e. shocking.

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