bomb

noun
\ ˈbäm How to pronounce bomb (audio) \

Definition of bomb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an explosive device fused to detonate under specified conditions
b : atomic bomb also : nuclear weapons in general usually used with the
2 : a vessel for compressed gases: such as
a : a pressure vessel for conducting chemical experiments
b : a container for an aerosol (such as an insecticide) : spray can
3 : a rounded mass of lava exploded from a volcano
4 : a lead-lined container for radioactive material
5 : failure, flop the play was a bomb
6 British : a large sum of money
7a British : a great success : hit
b slang : one that is striking or extraordinary used with the their new album is the bomb
8a : a long pass in football
b : a very long shot (as in basketball) shooting 3-point bombs also : home run
9 : something unexpected and unpleasant often used with drop dropped a bomb with her resignation

bomb

verb
bombed; bombing; bombs

Definition of bomb (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to attack with or as if with bombs : bombard The planes successfully bombed their target. a bombed village
2a : to defeat decisively
b baseball : to score many runs against (a pitcher) Allen tried a new slider pitch without success and was bombed in Cincinnati.— Jack Lang
3 : to hit (a ball, puck, or shot) very hard bomb a home run bomb a long drive down the fairway
4 slang : to fail (a test) I bombed my history exam.

intransitive verb

1 informal : to fall flat : to fail completely The movie bombed at the box office. a joke that bombed
2 informal : to move rapidly a car bombing down the hill

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Other Words from bomb

Verb

bombing noun
The city was subjected to heavy bombing during the war. suicide bombings

Examples of bomb in a Sentence

Noun

A bomb went off downtown. Many bombs were dropped on the city during the war. They hid a bomb in the building. countries that have the bomb

Verb

The city was heavily bombed during the war. The planes flew 200 miles to bomb their target. The movie bombed at the box office. The play bombed on Broadway. He bombed at his first performance. I completely bombed my math exam. A car was bombing down the highway. teenagers bombing around in a convertible
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At least 12 activists were arrested at various demonstration sites for hurling stones and carrying petrol bombs. Washington Post, "Ethiopian Israeli protests of police violence enter 3rd day," 3 July 2019 Facebook has previously been the target of at least one bomb scare, last December, which also led to the evacuation of several buildings. James Vincent, The Verge, "Facebook’s Silicon Valley campus given all clear after suspected sarin exposure," 2 July 2019 The jet took off from Moody Air Force Base, in Central Georgia, but the 25-pound, nonexplosive bombs were dropped over northern Florida near Suwannee Springs, the release said. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Air Force jet hits bird, drops 3 dummy bombs over Florida," 2 July 2019 Instead, those stores catered to out-of-towners from New York, a state that maintains its restriction on everything but the boring stuff like sparklers and smoke bombs. Luke Winkie, Vox, "Anime brings in more than $19 billion a year. Its artists are earning barely enough to survive.," 2 July 2019 Down here was an ever-expanding, do-it-yourself bomb shelter carved out beneath a two-story home with white siding and burgundy shutters smack in the middle of a Maryland suburb less than 10 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. Dan Morse, chicagotribune.com, "A millionaire day trader, the secret bunker under his Maryland home and a murder conviction," 1 July 2019 If, however, Iran ignores this array of international sea power and bombs a ship, blasts a U.S. drone, or otherwise misbehaves, Trump already will have in place — just a few miles away — potential partners for a multilateral reprisal. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Trump Should Assemble a Multinational Naval Convoy," 28 June 2019 For over a decade Iranian scientists there have fed uranium hexafluoride into centrifuges that spin at twice the speed of sound so as to sift out uranium-235, the isotope capable of sustaining a chain reaction in a nuclear power plant or bomb. The Economist, "Breaking the nuclear deal ratchets up the conflict between Iran and America," 28 June 2019 High levels of bomb carbon from nuclear testing were found in the tissues of amphipods living in the hadal zone. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The fundamentalists who shot and bombed innocents and openly assassinated fellow Sikhs are now being reconstructed as peaceful activists. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 A year before, Bolton had written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that President Trump should bomb and invade North Korea rather than give negotiation a chance. Tyler Bellstrom, The New Republic, "Fire John Bolton," 22 June 2019 The news is filled with scary stories, like a tourist bus being bombed near Egypt’s pyramids, people being knifed at a bus stop in Japan, and continuing coverage of the two Boeing 737 Max air crashes, both of which happened overseas. Jay L. Zagorsky, Quartz, "It’s more dangerous to live in America than to travel abroad," 12 June 2019 This would give the subsonic attack jet the range to strike distant targets, perhaps bombing enemy air defenses to allow manned jets to slip through. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s First Autonomous Strike Drone Will Fly This Summer," 5 June 2019 The journey of fewer than 400 miles took 16 days because Allied planes had bombed bridges. Chris Kenning, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky vet captured during D-Day invasion 75 years ago to receive France's highest honor," 29 May 2019 The Natter was designed to be launched vertically, using Germany’s rocket tech to avoid the use of long airfields that were easy for the Allies to bomb. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet 'The Natter,' Nazi Germany's Wooden Rocket Plane," 19 June 2019 But Iran's hardliners -- particularly the Revolutionary Guard -- are normally a little smarter than to bomb international shipping lanes during a crucial diplomatic meeting. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Iran will get the blame, but the Gulf of Oman truth is likely a lot murkier," 13 June 2019 The smokejumpers call in the Fire Bosses—crop dusting–style planes equipped to carry 800 gallons—to bomb the flames. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bomb.' 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 bomb

Noun

1662, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1688, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bomb

Noun

borrowed from Spanish or Italian bomba or French bombe, all probably in part from an onomatopoeic base bomb- (as in Greek bómbos "booming, humming," Old Norse bumba "drum," Lithuanian bambėti "to mutter, mumble," Albanian bumbullin "it is thundering"), in part back-formation from Medieval Latin bombardus or Middle French bombarde bombard entry 1

Note: The origin and transmission of bomba, bombe, etc., in the sense "explosive device, projectile, etc.," among European languages is not certain. Bomba is attested earliest in Spanish, appearing several times in the second half of the 16th century (canto 18 of La Araucana of Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, the Descripción general de África of Luis del Mármol, the Historia de las cosas…del Gran Reyno de la China of Juan González de Mendoza). Mendoza's book (1585) is the source of an early and aberrant instance of bomb in English: his bombas de fuego is rendered as "bomes of fire" in Robert Parke's translation (The Historie of the Great and Mightie Kingdome of China, London, 1588, p. 65). Bomba is recorded as Italian in Antoine Oudin's Italian-French dictionary (Recherches italiennes et françoises, Paris, 1640), where it is glossed "bombe, ou balon de feu" ("bomb, or ball of fire"), though it is not recorded in an Italian text until 1686 (Paolo Segneri, Il cristiano instruito, Florence, p. 327); Oudin's gloss also apparently constitutes the first record in French. Significantly earlier than any of these is Latin bombus, which occurs twice in the Commentarii, an account of the exploits of the condottiere Jacopo Piccinino in 1452-53 by the Neapolitan humanist Giannantonio de' Pandone, "il Porcellio" (ca. 1405-85); Pandone's bombus appears to be some sort of exploding projectile ("Hic Tibertus Dux bombi fulmine in ulna sauciatur" - "Here Tibertus [the condottiere Tiberto Brandolini] was wounded in the forearm by the flash of a bombus"); the 18th-century lexicographer Du Cange, in Glossarium mediae et infimae Latinitatis, glosses bombus in this passage, alluding to French bombe, as pila incendiaria, "fireball." Spanish bomba in the sense "pump," attested from the early 16th century, is probably an independent formation; cf. pump entry 1.

Verb

derivative of bomb entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near bomb

bom

Boma

Bomarea

bomb

bomba

Bombacaceae

bombachas

Statistics for bomb

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bomb

The first known use of bomb was in 1662

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More Definitions for bomb

bomb

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bomb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device that is designed to explode in order to injure or kill people or to damage or destroy property
: nuclear weapons
US, informal : something that is a complete failure

bomb

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bomb (Entry 2 of 2)

: to attack (a place or people) with a bomb or many bombs
informal : to fail completely
US slang : to fail (a test)

bomb

noun
\ ˈbäm How to pronounce bomb (audio) \

Kids Definition of bomb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a hollow case or shell filled with explosive material
2 : a container in which something (as an insecticide) is stored under pressure and from which it is released in a fine spray
3 : something that is a complete failure The new movie was a bomb.

bomb

verb
bombed; bombing

Kids Definition of bomb (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to attack with bombs
2 : to fail completely His comedy act bombed.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bomb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bomb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bomb

Spanish Central: Translation of bomb

Nglish: Translation of bomb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bomb for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bomb

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