\ ˈstrāf How to pronounce strafe (audio) , especially British ˈsträf \
strafed; strafing

Definition of strafe

transitive verb

: to rake (ground troops, an airfield, etc.) with fire at close range and especially with machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft

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Other Words from strafe

strafe noun
strafer noun

Examples of strafe in a Sentence

The planes strafed the town.
Recent Examples on the Web Parents race to save a boy, who will figure prominently later in the series, as airplanes strafe the streets with gunfire. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Trump, Juneteenth and Tulsa: Why you should take HBO up on watching 'Watchmen' for free," 19 June 2020 The bullets strafed the living room, missing the woman who was in the back of the home. Vincent T. Davis,, "San Antonio health care administrator reflects on storied 43-year nursing career," 6 Apr. 2020 The morning after the Oscars, as rain (which probably would have been snow a few years ago) strafed New York, bleary-eyed guests filed dutifully into The Shed at Hudson Yards for the Carolina Herrera show. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Party People and Twisted Sisters," 11 Feb. 2020 Walker flashed athleticism to improvise and extend plays, scrambled out of the pocket and strafed the Wildcats' defense with intermediate and deep passes. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "XFL Week 1 winners and losers: Inaugural weekend good for TV networks, gamblers," 10 Feb. 2020 In one of the war’s most grisly incidents, warplanes strafed a retreating Iraqi column north of Kuwait City, melting man and machine. New York Times, "Mourning Iraq’s Destruction, a Native Son Creates," 31 Dec. 2019 South Vietnamese forces clashed with Buddhist protesters in central Vietnam, and at one point demonstrators were strafed by fighter-bombers., "He was born Pham Quang in 1923 in Quang Binh province in an area of central Vietnam later controlled by North Vietnam. He later adopted the title thich, meaning “the venerable.”," 24 Nov. 2019 There was no sitting back and strafing the secondary with passes to Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks and Woods. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Unbeaten 49ers soundly show the Rams they are a real power in NFC West," 13 Oct. 2019 After devastating the Bahamas and strafing parts of the southeastern United States this week, Dorian made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina when its eye scraped across Cape Hatteras. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Hurricane Dorian crashes into Outer Banks in North Carolina," 6 Sep. 2019

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

1915, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for strafe

German Gott strafe England may God punish England, German propaganda slogan during World War I

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Time Traveler for strafe

Time Traveler

The first known use of strafe was in 1915

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Statistics for strafe

Cite this Entry

“Strafe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for strafe


How to pronounce strafe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of strafe

: to attack (something) with machine guns from low-flying airplanes

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for strafe

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