1

bombard

noun bom·bard \ ˈbäm-ˌbärd \
Updated on: 21 Nov 2017

Definition of bombard

: a late medieval cannon used to hurl large stones

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Recent Examples of bombard from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of bombard

Middle English bombard, bumbard, borrowed from Middle French bombarde, probably from an onomatopoeic base bomb- + -arde -ard — more at 1bomb
Note: As with bomba, bombe, etc. (see note at 1bomb), the origin and diffusion of bombarda, bombarde, etc., remain incompletely elucidated. French bombarde, in reference to an engine of war, appears in the Vrayes chroniques of Jean le Bel, a history of the Hundred Years War begun in 1357 (see Dictionnaire du Moyen Français, online) and in the accounts of the Valenciennes city clerk Nicole de Dury from 1363 (see H. Caffiaux, Nicole de Dury, maître clerc de la ville de Valenciennes 1361-1373, Valenciennes, 1866, p. 103). Italian bombarda may be dependent on the French word, given that the earliest use of the word is in reference to artillery used at the battle of Crécy in 1346 (in the final book of the Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani, who died in 1348; manuscripts containing the final book are significantly later). The 1311 date given for bombarda in Trésor de la langue française, Cortelazzo and Zolli's Dizionario etimologico della lingua italiana, and a number of earlier sources from which they draw (as the Enciclopedia Italiana) is incorrect; the text in question, the Polystorio or Polyhistoria by Niccolò da Ferrara (not Bartolomeo da Ferrara), alludes to events of 1311 but was written sometime after 1367, when the chronicle ends, at the court of Niccolò II d'Este, marquess of Ferrara from 1361 (cf. Richard Tristano, "History 'Without Scruple': The Enlightenment Confronts the Middle Ages in Renaissance Ferrara," Medievalia et Humanistica, new series, no. 38 [2012], p. 85). Spanish lombarda, attested about 1400, is clearly a folk-etymologizing of bombarda (pace Coromines' etymology in Diccionario crítico-etimológico castellano e hispánico, which does not take account of the earlier French forms).


2

bombard

verb bom·bard \ bäm-ˈbärd also bəm- \

Definition of bombard

transitive verb
1 : to attack especially with artillery or bombers
2 : to assail vigorously or persistently (as with questions)
3 : to subject to the impact of rapidly moving particles (such as electrons)

bombardment

play \-mənt\ noun

Examples of bombard in a Sentence

  1. The navy bombarded the shore.

  2. Scientists bombarded the sample with X-rays.

  3. The car was bombarded by rocks as it drove away from the angry crowd.

Recent Examples of bombard from the Web

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

Did You Know?

In the late Middle Ages, a bombard was a cannon used to hurl large stones at enemy fortifications. Its name, which first appeared in English in the 15th century, derived via Middle French and Middle English from the Latin noun bombus (a word referring to the same device). The verb "bombard" blasted onto the scene in English in 1686, with an original meaning of "to attack especially with artillery"; as weapons technology improved throughout the centuries, such artillery came to include things like automatic rifles and bomber aircraft. Nowadays one can be bombarded figuratively in any number of ways, such as by omnipresent advertising messages or persistent phone calls.

Origin and Etymology of bombard

earlier, "to fire a large cannon," borrowed from Middle French bombarder, verbal derivative of bombarde 1bombard

bombard Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of bombard

attack, assail, assault, bombard, storm mean to make an onslaught upon. attack implies taking the initiative in a struggle.
    • plan to attack the town at dawn
assail implies attempting to break down resistance by repeated blows or shots.
    • assailed the enemy with artillery fire
assault suggests a direct attempt to overpower by suddenness and violence of onslaught.
    • commandos assaulted the building from all sides
bombard applies to attacking with bombs or shells.
    • bombarded the city nightly
storm implies attempting to break into a defended position.
    • preparing to storm the fortress

BOMBARD Defined for English Language Learners

bombard

verb

Definition of bombard for English Language Learners

  • : to attack (a place) with bombs, large guns, etc.

  • : to hit or attack (something or someone) constantly or repeatedly


BOMBARD Defined for Kids

bombard

verb bom·bard \ bäm-ˈbärd \

Definition of bombard for Students

bombarded; bombarding
1 : to attack with heavy fire from big guns : shell
  • bombard a fort
2 : to hit or attack again and again
  • We were bombarded by ads.
  • Smells he couldn't place bombarded him.
  • —Brian Selznick,


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