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

Beacon Hill was buzzing Tuesday over bombshell revelations that the Registry of Motor Vehicles for a year ignored warnings about its failure to process alerts on Massachusetts drivers who committed serious infractions across state lines. Danny Mcdonald,, "Key revelations from Tuesday’s stunning State House hearing on the RMV scandal," 31 July 2019 There was a bombshell article that reported that the president of the United States was personally under investigation for obstruction of justice. NBC News, "10 key sections of Mueller's report that came up during the hearings," 25 July 2019 Four gives me more of a loose wave, while six creates a classic Victoria's Secret bombshell curl (which Sarah actually created for the runway show in 2016). Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "The Beachwaver Basically Curls Your Hair for You—and It's on Sale," 24 July 2019 One of the bombshell announcements during Marvel’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con tonight was that the studio would be rebooting Blade, with True Detective and Luke Cage actor Mahershala Ali set to star. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Marvel is rebooting Blade, with Mahershala Ali set to star," 21 July 2019 But there are already some surprising things happening in Brazil’s political landscape as a result of yesterday’s bombshell exposés. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left," 10 June 2019 Viewers took to social media to unpack the bombshell episodes, which somehow combined podcasts, unrequited love, and a whole lot of plastic surgery. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'The Blacklist' Dropped a Major Bombshell About Raymond Reddington's True Identity," 29 Apr. 2019 When European leaders gathered at an emergency summit in Brussels, days after Mr Trump’s bombshell, the solution seemed simple enough: NATO’s 29 remaining members would regroup and marshal their defences without America. The Economist, "Europe alone: July 2024," 6 July 2019 This is a bombshell report on Ford’s systematic efforts to hide transmission safety defects and mislead consumers to buy faulty cars. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "US senators call for investigation of Ford Focus, Fiesta transmission decisions," 5 July 2019

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

Statistics for bombshell

Last Updated

4 Sep 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!