One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting or relating to a very large fuel–air bomb which ignites into a fireball when detonated, creating a powerful wave of pressure that sucks out oxygen from any confined spaces nearby.
- ‘Two days of heavy bombing by F-16 jets and AC-130 Spectre gunships brought a total of at least 270 bombs and missiles in the first two days of combat, including a thermobaric cave-busting bomb.’
- ‘US planes have already unleashed one of their most feared weapons, a 2,000 lb thermobaric bomb, which sends a blast of pressure and incinerating heat deep into caves where terrorists may be hiding.’
- ‘Those who authorised the use of White Phophorus and also thermobaric explosives, must also face trial.’
- ‘Nic, what do you know about the thermobaric bomb, that new bomb they use to hit caves?’
- ‘The thermobaric bombs being used are the epitome of weapons of mass destruction, the very weapons which they rant and rave about being in the hands of other countries.’
- ‘Christopher Lansdown reminds me about Anh Duong, one of the lead developers of the thermobaric bunker-buster bombs used against al Qaeda in Afghanistan - she's a Vietnamese refugee.’
- ‘An assault weapon the Marines were using had been armed with warheads containing ‘about 35 percent thermobaric novel explosive and 65 percent standard high explosive.’’
- ‘These included 10 anti-personnel mines, 20 land mines, four light anti-tank weapons, automatic rifles and ammunition, explosives and related material, and thermobaric weapons.’
- ‘On their screens they could see vast plumes of smoke and dust pouring out of the mouths of the caves and bunkers hit by the thermobaric bombs their commander had ordered deployed a few hours earlier.’
- ‘This thermobaric warhead creates a blast wave equivalent to that produced by the detonation of 2kg of TNT.’
- ‘General Myers said more than 300 bombs had been dropped, among them a newly-developed thermobaric device which sends a lethal wave of pressure and heat through deeply-buried caves, killing all those inside.’
1990s: from thermo- + Greek barus ‘heavy’.
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