bomb·​shell | \ˈbäm-ˌshel \

Definition of bombshell 

2a : one that is stunning, amazing, or devastating The book was a political bombshell.

b : a person who is the cause and object of sensational and usually widespread attention, excitement, or attraction a blonde bombshell [=a glamorously attractive blonde woman]

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Synonyms for bombshell


jar, jaw-dropper, jolt, stunner, surprise (also surprize)

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Examples of bombshell in a Sentence

discovering that I had a long-lost sister was an absolute bombshell

Recent Examples on the Web

As Kavanaugh forges ahead and denies the allegation, [Dianne Feinstein] is under some of the most intense scrutiny of her career, with Trump bluntly accusing her Tuesday of timing her bombshell revelation to sink his nominee. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Dean Heller, survivalist," 19 Sep. 2018 Chrissy dropped this casual bombshell on Twitter Sunday evening. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen Explains Correct Way to Pronounce Her Last Name," 17 Sep. 2018 Despite the change in background, the trademark Yuskavage bombshell—buxom, beguiling, inscrutable—was still there. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Lisa Yuskavage’s Art Continues to Defy Characterization," 6 Nov. 2018 But now, at the last minute, the Democrats drop this bombshell on him and some of this media people just lap it up. Fox News, "Woman who knew Kavanaugh in high school speaks out," 14 Sep. 2018 Star Wars fans have been eagerly awaiting news about Episode IX, and Disney recently dropped a major bombshell about the upcoming film's casting: Carrie Fisher will posthumously reprise her role as Princess Leia. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Carrie Fisher Will Appear in "Star Wars: Episode IX"," 28 July 2018 During her matching interview for the photoshoot, 29-year-old Kravitz dropped the major bombshell that she’s been secretly engaged for the majority of this year, and no-one even realized. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Who is Karl Glusman? Zoë Kravtiz Confirms She's Been Secretly Engaged to the Actor For Months," 30 Oct. 2018 The Senate Judiciary Democrats dropped the Christine Blasey Ford bombshell late in the process to drive a wedge between Republicans and female voters. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "The October Surprise Arrives," 24 Oct. 2018 The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, which aired over a year ago, dropped the major bombshell that Jon Snow, now heir to the Iron Throne, had just unknowingly slept with his aunt, Daenerys Targaryen. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Real Meaning Behind Tyrion's Reaction To Jon Snow and Daenerys' Sex Scene on Game of Thrones," 7 Sep. 2018

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

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for bombshell

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bombshell

The first known use of bombshell was in 1708

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English Language Learners Definition of bombshell

: something that is very surprising or shocking

: a very attractive woman

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Comments on bombshell

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to enclose within walls

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