\ 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

The rant, scraped from Facebook and posted on Twitter, talked about having the freedom to wait in line for a pretzel before devolving into an unhinged screed strafing child-free millennials with profanities. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Is going to Disneyland or Disney World more fun without kids? Definitely. Here's why.," 2 Aug. 2019 At Chad’s request, French warplanes from Barkhane, France’s anti-jihadist force in the Sahel, strafed the rebels for three days. The Economist, "Idriss Déby, Chad’s despot, is struggling to stay in power," 18 July 2019 Local news outlets report gunfire strafed the inside and parking lot of the Stadium Ultralounge & Bar early Saturday, apparently beginning after a fight where videos show one man breaking a bottle over another man’s head. Time, "7 Wounded in Louisiana Nightclub Shooting," 30 June 2019 The next wave of ponytailed Americans in crisp white uniforms attacked with the same zeal, strafing Chile's outstanding goalkeeper, Christiane Endler, with three scoring attempts in the first three minutes. Liz Clarke,, "US women’s national team’s joy is only rivaled by the exuberance of its fans," 17 June 2019 Allied air forces flew more than 9000 sorties Wednesday, bombing, and strafing the enemy from the Normandy beachheads to 100 miles inside of France. Houston Chronicle, "FIRST INVASION GOAL REACHED," 9 June 2019 Planes that dropped paratroopers on D-Day, bombed German defenses and strafed Panzer units may well have been flown first by women from factories on their way to the front, where men were at the controls. Fox News, "Women at war: Backstage heroines in D-Day's 75th anniversary," 8 June 2019 In the months leading up to the Normandy invasion, targets up and down the French coastline were bombed and strafed by allied airpower. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch U.S. Army Rangers Scale The Same Cliff Their Forebears Did on D-Day," 6 June 2019 The gun is designed for very close range air-to-air fighting or strafing targets on the ground. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A Dutch F-16 Flew Into Its Own Gunfire," 8 Apr. 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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Statistics for strafe

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for strafe

The first known use of strafe was in 1915

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More Definitions for strafe



English Language Learners Definition of strafe

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

More from Merriam-Webster on strafe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with strafe

Comments on strafe

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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