Definition of bombardier in English:



  • 1A rank of non-commissioned officer in certain artillery regiments, equivalent to corporal.

    • ‘Equivalent ranks in the Royal Artillery are lance-bombardier and bombardier, harking back to the ancient rank of bombardier, a species of trained artilleryman.’
    • ‘Lewis served in the 1914-18 war first as a bombardier at Ypres and then as a Canadian war artist.’
    • ‘Mr Hornby, a bombardier in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, was ordered on a perilous mission while acting as a dispatch rider in Italy.’
    • ‘Harold Ings, 86, a bombardier with the Royal Artillery was one of the soldiers whose unit was surrounded by Germans in occupied France.’
    • ‘He was there for eight months, during which he rose to the rank of bombardier.’
    • ‘The former bombardier - now a security guard at the Imperial War Museum North - spent five months in Iraq during the 1991 conflict.’
    • ‘Drawing on his experiences as a bombardier during the War, the novel is set among flyers on the Italian front.’
  • 2A member of a bomber crew in the US air force responsible for aiming and releasing bombs.

    • ‘At this time the bombardier instructed Tarcza to activate the bombs.’
    • ‘He went to navigation, bombardier and observer school at hot and humid Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, near Houston.’
    • ‘That evening I discussed it with our crew's bombardier, Lt. Jim ‘Pot’ Potvin, who agreed that it was worth a try.’
    • ‘Here we were subjected to another physical and now had to take a battery of tests to determine whether we would be pilots, navigators or bombardiers.’
    • ‘Here is where we were assigned to the 96th Bomb Group, except Lewis, the bombardier, who went elsewhere.’
    • ‘The navigator wrote down the numbers of the quadrants, read them back, and then got out of the way so the bombardier could set up his racks for the bomb run.’
    • ‘These determined if you were accepted and also had a bearing on what training you would be funneled to - fighter pilot, bomber pilot, navigator or bombardier.’
    • ‘Crews were being trimmed to nine because they determined it was unnecessary to have a qualified bombardier in every plane in the formation.’
    • ‘Cater Lee was the bombardier in Henderson's first crew, where Richard served as a co-pilot.’
    • ‘After World War II begins, Zinn decides to enlist in the Air Force as a bombardier even though his navy yard job would have provided an exemption.’
    • ‘Rather, the aircraft dropped it as a normal bomb, then the bombardier guided its steep descent by radio remote control.’
    • ‘The same holds true for the cockpit and bombardier's position.’
    • ‘At the age of nineteen, Heller enlisted as an air force bombardier in Italy.’
    • ‘Satisfied that his three navigators were in agreement, the pilot ordered the bombardier to pick out a mean point of impact, synchronize, and drop the bombs.’
    • ‘The bombardier and the pilot forgot to put on their dark glasses and therefore witnessed the flash which was terrific.’
    • ‘The pilot had been knocked unconscious from the explosion and the co-pilot, bombardier, navigator and engineer - believing the pilot was dead - had bailed out.’
    • ‘While they were doing so, the bombardier looked back to see that the bombs had landed for the most part in a wooded area and along a roadway.’
    • ‘Finally, The bombardier presses a button to release the bomb.’
    • ‘The bombardier and navigator were pleased that we had not run into anything but my spirits were low.’
    • ‘Another fun vehicle is the bomber, which can seat up to three people - a pilot, a bombardier, and a tailgunner.’


Mid 16th century (denoting a soldier in charge of a bombard, an early form of cannon): from French, from Old French bombarde cannon (see bombard).