air·​burst | \ ˈer-ˌbərst How to pronounce airburst (audio) \
variants: or air burst

Definition of airburst

: the burst of a shell or bomb in the air

Examples of airburst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tall el-Hammam may have been destroyed by a massive cosmic airburst and may have been the biblical Sodom. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper’s Magazine , 4 Jan. 2022 There are many smaller as-yet-undetected threats that exist, as the Chelyabinsk airburst showed so clearly in 2013. Scientific American, 13 Oct. 2021 For Kennett, further proof of the airburst was found by conducting many different kinds of analyses on soil and sediments from the critical layer. David Bressan, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 Each airburst was as powerful as a nuclear blast, instantaneously vaporizing the soil and vegetation underneath and producing powerful shock waves that destroyed everything for tens of kilometers around. Javier Barbuzano / Eos, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Apr. 2020 Before the end, 100 Indian nukes hit cities in Pakistan, while 150 Pakistani airburst attacks hit cities in India. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 4 Oct. 2019 There were also airbursts, little bags of materials discreetly hung in the air that look like outdoor aerial fireworks when trigged. Matt Wake |, al, 28 July 2019 However, space rocks which were smaller than about 40 meters in diameter were more likely to explode in an airburst, posing a different kind of risk to the people below. Jasper Hamill, Fox News, 28 June 2018 Cannon and Turret Jaguar has a two-man turret armed with one 40mm CTC cannon that can fire a wide range of options including airburst, armor piercing and HE (High Explosive) ammunition to defeat a large spectrum of threats. Allison Barrie, Fox News, 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'airburst.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of airburst

1914, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for airburst

Time Traveler

The first known use of airburst was in 1914

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Dictionary Entries Near airburst

airbrush out



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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Airburst.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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