bombard

noun
bom·​bard | \ ˈbäm-ˌbärd How to pronounce bombard (audio) \

Definition of bombard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a late medieval cannon used to hurl large stones

bombard

verb
bom·​bard | \ bäm-ˈbärd How to pronounce bombard (audio) also bəm- \
bombarded; bombarding; bombards

Definition of bombard (Entry 2 of 2)

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)

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Other Words from bombard

Verb

bombardment \ bäm-​ˈbärd-​mənt How to pronounce bombard (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for bombard

Synonyms: Verb

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Verb

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. ommandos 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

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Verb

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.

Examples of bombard in a Sentence

Verb The navy bombarded the shore. Scientists bombarded the sample with X-rays. The car was bombarded by rocks as it drove away from the angry crowd.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If successful, just a dozen bombers would be able to bombard enemy targets with up to 432 missiles in wartime. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch a B-1B Lancer Carry a Cruise Missile on the Outside for the First Time," 27 Nov. 2020 But today, browsing the available coffee makers will bombard you with Aeropresses, vacuum pots, nine-bar espresso machines, precise drip makers, and French presses. Edmund Torr, Popular Science, "Best coffee maker: Five things to consider," 12 Dec. 2020 Now, nationwide campaigns bombard us with incessant questions demanding our opinion on a variety of topics, and every click of the mouse creates a marketing profile on our behalf. WSJ, "Some Thoughts on Pollsters’ Abject Failure," 9 Nov. 2020 Michael Bloomberg, a Biden backer, pledged to spend an additional $100 million in the state to bombard airwaves with Democratic messaging. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "As Florida remains uncalled, Democrats claim they spent $100 million there to distract Trump from the Midwest," 4 Nov. 2020 That money has allowed both campaigns — but especially Gross’ — to bombard potential voters with TV commercials, fliers and internet ads. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "After millions spent and a blizzard of ads, Sullivan and Gross make final ‘blitz’ in Alaska U.S. Senate race," 31 Oct. 2020 From the North Sea, a Montana could bombard targets in western Russia and even Moscow itself. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army's Mind-Bending 1,000-Mile Cannon Is Coming. Could It Bring Back Battleships?," 16 Oct. 2020 Most significant releases have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Hollywood advertisers see little reason to bombard a national audience that may not be comfortable returning to theaters. Brian Steinberg, chicagotribune.com, "Advertisers rush to TV’s debates, election coverage," 28 Sep. 2020 Auroras occur when solar particles bombard gases in Earth’s atmosphere, spurring the particles to produce colorful light that’s typically most visible near our planet’s north and south poles. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Type of Aurora Ripples Across the Sky in Horizontal Green ‘Dunes’," 29 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of bombard

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bombard

Noun

Middle English bombard, bumbard, borrowed from Middle French bombarde, probably from an onomatopoeic base bomb- + -arde -ard — more at bomb entry 1

Note: As with bomba, bombe, etc. (see note at bomb entry 1), 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).

Verb

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

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The first known use of bombard was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bombard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bombard. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for bombard

bombard

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bombard

: to attack (a place) with bombs, large guns, etc.
: to hit or attack (something or someone) constantly or repeatedly

bombard

verb
bom·​bard | \ bäm-ˈbärd How to pronounce bombard (audio) \
bombarded; bombarding

Kids Definition of bombard

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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