Word of the Day : October 6, 2017


verb bahm-BARD


1 : to attack especially with artillery or bombers

2 : to assail vigorously or persistently (as with questions)

3 : to subject to the impact of rapidly moving particles (as electrons)

Did You Know?

In the late Middle Ages, a bombard was a cannon used to hurl large stones at enemy fortifications. Its name, which first appeared in English in the 15th century, comes from the Middle French bombarde, which in turn was probably a combination of the onomatopoeic bomb- and the suffix -arde (equivalent to the English ­-ard). The verb bombard blasted onto the scene in English in the 17th century, with an original meaning of "to attack especially with artillery"; as weapons technology improved throughout the centuries, such artillery came to include things like automatic rifles and bomber aircraft. Nowadays one can be bombarded figuratively in any number of ways, such as by omnipresent advertising messages or persistent phone calls.


After running an editorial supporting the town's controversial plan, the newspaper was bombarded with letters and email from residents wishing to voice their opposition.

"Hundreds of willing—and unwilling—participants will line up on either side of the lot and bombard each other with tomatoes." — Jimmy Fisher, The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), 17 Aug. 2017

Test Your Vocabulary

Bomb can mean a great success or a great failure. What is the name for such a word having two opposite meanings?



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