bomb·​shell | \ ˈbäm-ˌshel How to pronounce bombshell (audio) \

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]

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bombshell


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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bombshell in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The interview gave some fun insider insights about the beloved show, but the biggest bombshell came from Mitchell Whitfield, who played Rachel's orthodontist ex Barry Farber. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "This 'Friends' Guest Star Almost Played Ross Geller," 7 Feb. 2019 Shayk, who is celebrating her 33rd birthday today, went full bombshell mode in a body-hugging gold sleeveless dress with a thigh-high leg slit. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Make a Rare Red Carpet Appearance for the 2019 Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 The redhead bombshell is the perfect Ariel, but insists this is her first time dressing up as the iconic character. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Watch Patrick Starrr Transform 'Riverdale's' Madelaine Petsch into Ariel from 'The Little Mermaid'," 13 Apr. 2018 And bombshell brunette waves, winged liner, and a pink lip took Ashley Graham's subtle sliver of skin to new levels of pretty. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner, Cardi B, and More Show Why Crop-Top Abs—and Confidence— are a Perfect Match," 16 Mar. 2018 In that bombshell interview, Armstrong confessed that his seven Tour de France titles came with the help of performance-enhancing drugs. Editors, USA TODAY, "5 things you need to know Wednesday," 17 Jan. 2018 The second of Farrow’s bombshells was published on Sunday, hours before Moonves stepped down. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Disgraced CBS boss Les Moonves staying on as adviser, network paying millions to #MeToo charities," 10 Sep. 2018 From a Brazilian bombshell to an indie vampire queen, here are 11 Vogue editor–approved choices that guarantee a knockout year. 1. Vogue, "Who's the Best Beauty Muse for 2019? 11 Celebrity Icons for a Knockout Year Ahead," 5 Jan. 2019 That’s when Ed dropped the major bombshell about working with BTS. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "BTS Might Release a Song Written by Ed Sheeran," 21 Nov. 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.

See More

First Known Use of bombshell

1708, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bombshell

Share bombshell

Statistics for bombshell

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bombshell

The first known use of bombshell was in 1708

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bombshell



English Language Learners Definition of bombshell

: something that is very surprising or shocking
informal : a very attractive woman

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bombshell

What made you want to look up bombshell? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!