shrapnel

noun
shrap·​nel | \ ˈshrap-nᵊl How to pronounce shrapnel (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrap- \
plural shrapnel

Definition of shrapnel

1 : a projectile that consists of a case provided with a powder charge and a large number of usually lead balls and that is exploded in flight
2 : bomb, mine, or shell fragments

Examples of shrapnel in a Sentence

He has a piece of shrapnel in his leg. Shrapnel from the explosion wounded many people.
Recent Examples on the Web There were about five people outside the residence when the cannon exploded, but Silva was the only one struck by shrapnel, mlive.com reports. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cannon explodes at baby shower, killing Michigan man," 8 Feb. 2021 Three parked cars and the garage where the baby shower was being held were also struck by shrapnel, the station reported. CBS News, "Michigan man killed when cannon used at baby shower explodes," 8 Feb. 2021 Broten was kept prisoner in Korea for six days in 1953, lying in a trench bleeding from 27 shrapnel wounds, unable to walk to a POW camp without passing out. Katy Read, Star Tribune, "Monuments dedicated to five wars unveiled in Veterans Park of Blaine," 16 Jan. 2021 That’s a drag for scientists, because the mesosphere is loaded with interesting phenomena, like weird blue and red lightning and the microscopic shrapnel of millions of meteors—shooting stars—scorching through it every day. Max G. Levy, Wired, "Researchers Levitated a Small Tray Using Nothing but Light," 12 Feb. 2021 But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and can burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, "US rejects Ford, Mazda requests to avoid Takata recalls," 19 Jan. 2021 But the chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high heat and humidity and can burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister and hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Tom Krisher, ajc, "US rejects Ford, Mazda requests to avoid Takata recalls," 19 Jan. 2021 Gerbert underwent surgery on his hand and was also wounded by glass shrapnel in his eye, the affidavit said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man nearly struck school bus before shooting Wasilla police officer in the hand, charges say," 22 Dec. 2020 The recall centers on a defect in airbags made by Takata, the now-bankrupt Japanese manufacturer, that causes the bags to explode, spraying shrapnel through the vehicle. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for November 24: Biden, coronavirus, Nigeria, China, emissions," 24 Nov. 2020

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

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shrapnel

Henry Shrapnel †1842 English artillery officer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrapnel

Time Traveler for shrapnel

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrapnel was in 1806

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shrapnel

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrapnel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shrapnel. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shrapnel

shrapnel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shrapnel

: small metal pieces that scatter outwards from an exploding bomb, shell, or mine

shrapnel

noun
shrap·​nel | \ ˈshrap-nᵊl How to pronounce shrapnel (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrapnel

: small metal pieces that scatter outwards from an exploding bomb, shell, or mine

More from Merriam-Webster on shrapnel

Nglish: Translation of shrapnel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shrapnel

Comments on shrapnel

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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