Definition of bomb in English:

bomb

noun

  • 1A container filled with explosive, incendiary material, smoke, gas, or other destructive substance, designed to explode on impact or when detonated by a time mechanism, remote-control device, or lit fuse.

    • ‘Those left behind learned to live with the fear of explosive or incendiary bombs.’
    • ‘It appeared the car was booby-trapped and the bomb was detonated by remote control.’
    • ‘The dirty bomb was made from a material called radioactive zirconium which was packed into a bomb casing with high explosives.’
    • ‘It is why they blow up big bombs in civilian crowds.’
    • ‘He would fill the cores of bombs with explosives, and part of his job was to go to the aboveground nuclear tests in Nevada.’
    • ‘It was later discovered that the bombs were practice bombs, filled with concrete or plaster, rather than explosives.’
    • ‘The majority of guerrilla attacks on US occupation forces have been carried out by remotely detonated bombs or rocket-propelled grenades.’
    • ‘A bomb or grenade also exploded on the road during the shooting, but caused no casualties.’
    • ‘One day in October, a bomb exploded under his truck.’
    • ‘According to some reports the bomb contained material which was also found in bombs which exploded last year in blocks of flats situated in the suburbs of Moscow.’
    • ‘There have been a total of 35 shooting attacks, and 13 bombs exploded.’
    • ‘Similarly, although aircraft might contain high-explosive bombs, the target might require cluster bomb units.’
    • ‘According to sources, dissident groups are now at work planning to plant bombs or detonate incendiary devices.’
    • ‘A bomb or a missile explodes, spreading the chemical or biological agent over a wide area.’
    • ‘A guard activated a radio-jamming device immediately so the bomb couldn't be detonated, West wrote.’
    • ‘The court heard that the bomb contained high explosives that were normally used for mining explosions in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘That night airships dropped high explosive bombs and incendiaries on Bradley, Tipton, Wednesbury and Walsall.’
    • ‘Not all of the bombs detonated on impact, and many still lie in the ground here.’
    • ‘However, nothing happened until about 9.00 am when the capital was attacked with both incendiary and high explosive bombs.’
    • ‘In the warehouse, Morriss's trap detonated, and a bomb exploded.’
    • ‘The latest technology of death - incendiary bombs and high explosives - rained down on unprotected people for three hours.’
    • ‘An exact mix of high explosive and incendiary bombs was used to start the kind of fires that burned Dresden.’
    • ‘The second night attack, which used high explosive and incendiary bombs alternately, caused the first man-made firestorm which affected an area of 22sq.km.’
    • ‘Just as my vehicle crossed an aqueduct, they detonated a homemade bomb by remote control and it tore through the floor of my car.’
    • ‘But even the remote controlled bombs are not the perfect weapon.’
    • ‘He said the bomb was detonated by remote control.’
    • ‘A passenger said the sound of the impact sounded like a bomb exploding.’
    explosive, incendiary device, incendiary, device
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with modifier An explosive device fitted into a specified object.
      ‘a package bomb’
      • ‘Big Ben has more recently figured in fevered truck bomb scenarios that result in it crashing down.’
      • ‘Recent attempted van bomb attacks were foiled in Derry and Belfast.’
      • ‘Exactly one year ago today, a devastating truck bomb tore through the Headquarters, killing 22 people.’
      • ‘Many people were killed, including a friend of mine who was hit by shrapnel from a van bomb.’
      • ‘Following last Friday's bicycle bomb murder, a large number of workers went on strike in the city today.’
      • ‘The employment of car and truck bombs demonstrates a level of expertise that perhaps would suggest the involvement of well-trained terrorists.’
      • ‘At 7.49 am, a backpack bomb tore through their train as it entered Santa Eugenia station, nine miles from Atocha.’
      • ‘He made sure of that when he sent her a package bomb that blew off her hands and nearly killed her.’
      • ‘But the owner used his telecommunications expertise to prepare the mobile phones that detonated the train bombs by remote control.’
      • ‘The building has been targeted before, and was the scene of a massive van bomb in 1993.’
      • ‘Car bombs are a very significant part, car bombs, truck bombs, explosive devices.’
      • ‘They also discuss how to make a pressure cooker bomb and using a Walkman headset into a bobby-trapped device.’
      • ‘A deadly manuscript bomb set off in an American city.’
    2. 1.2the bomb Nuclear weapons considered collectively as agents of mass destruction.
      ‘she joined the fight against the bomb’
      • ‘These proposals were eventually rejected for fear that the use of the bomb might provoke a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘From the very outset all the combatants knew that the bomb would be both a weapon of destruction and a weapon of terror.’
      • ‘Let me say that I have a strong but constructive critique against parts of the traditional left with regard to their attitude to the bomb and nuclear power.’
      • ‘The age of the bomb, and of other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) continues.’
      • ‘The danger is that the government's scaremongering proves so effective that if the worst comes to pass, lives will be lost as a result of fear and ignorance rather than the direct effects of the bomb.’
      • ‘Despite the unarguable logic of the bomb, nuclear wars don't happen.’
      • ‘Part one, describing the destructive effects of the bomb on the population of the two cities, was published on August 6.’
      • ‘Harry Truman, who made the decision to use it, shared with the electorate the opinion that the bomb was a legitimate weapon.’
      • ‘Once inside the target, burning uranium is another part of the bomb's destructive power.’
      • ‘Of little military significance, the city of 250,000 provided a good test of the bomb's destructiveness.’
      nuclear weapons, nuclear bombs, atom bombs, a-bombs
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A small pressurized container that sprays liquid, foam, or gas.
      ‘the bug bombs we tried did not kill the cockroaches’
      • ‘Furthermore, when the shoot is placed in a pressure bomb and is pressurized to the balance point, the meniscus can be seen to; Return to the cut surface of the open conduits.’
      • ‘The root water potential was measured by a PMS Model 600 pressure bomb.’
      • ‘There will also be a curfew on using fireworks after 11 pm and a complete ban on air bomb sales.’
      • ‘If we were their last hope as they stood over a ginormous liquid nitrogen bomb, wondering whether to cut the blue wire or the red wire, then I fear we have just lost a reader.’
  • 2A lump of lava thrown out by a volcano.

    • ‘The party ran out of the palace and looked up in the sky and saw a swarm of what looked like lava bees holding lava bombs.’
    • ‘And though he'd heard that reaching the 12500-foot summit would be an ordeal, he wasn't prepared for the scorching lava bombs that Erebus hurled at him.’
    • ‘The group hovered along the surface, flying over the lava fields and dodging the rare incoming of a lava bomb.’
    • ‘Everyone else gets going out of the way of the lava bombs and lava flows.’
    • ‘Fresh manure, too, dollops of it ramping over the concrete lip of the stall floor like lava bombs flung from a brown volcano.’
  • 3a bombBritish informal A large sum of money.

    ‘it will cost a bomb in call charges’
    • ‘The show didn't cost a bomb and was in aid of a local charity for children.’
    • ‘LCD televisions are all the rage, but a space-saving panel with a picture to rival your traditional set will cost a bomb.’
    • ‘Whether that means adding on another bathroom, or a garden shed - this legislation does not detail that - it will cost a bomb.’
    • ‘And here's your workstation - it cost a bomb, and it's the latest and fastest, I believe.’
    • ‘The Greenwich Millennium Village's developers must be making an absolute bomb out of the old gasworks.’
    • ‘Of course, some of them cost a bomb, but their effect in a home makes up for everything.’
    • ‘The place was very small, and the drinks cost a bomb!’
    • ‘Drinks run the gamut from Manhattans to Martinis but shaken or stirred they cost a bomb.’
    • ‘I told him that it would cost a bomb and that my Mom and Dad would never allow it.’
    • ‘They may be high fashion, and they may well cost a bomb, but they are, fundamentally, half your basic shell suit.’
    • ‘It cost a bomb, but the university footed the bill, as I had to move at their request.’
    • ‘It must have cost a bomb but it looked absolutely amazing on her.’
    • ‘Soft-toys available in upmarket shops cost a bomb, whereas the toys here are priced at a very affordable range.’
    a fortune, a small fortune, a king's ransom, a huge amount, a vast sum, a large sum of money, a lot, millions, billions
    View synonyms
  • 4informal A movie, play, or other event that fails badly.

    • ‘And while expensive star signings have won lacklustre ratings, the channel's film arm has produced a string of critical and commercial bombs.’
    1. 4.1 An old car, especially a run-down one.
      • ‘It's the story of three backpackers - two British girls and a Sydney bloke - who buy an old bomb to drive from WA to Cairns.’
  • 5the bomb" or "da bombUS informal An outstandingly good person or thing.

    ‘the site would really be da bomb if its content were updated more frequently’
    • ‘But as it turns out, this cute little game is still da bomb.’
    • ‘He is simply ‘da Bomb’ where ladies are concerned.’
    • ‘This year's poster looks good online sure, but the real-deal is totally the bomb.’
    • ‘I played using more of the lower register, which is totally DA BOMB on my violin, and I really need to do that more often.’
    • ‘This is a film in which ballet's da bomb and hip-hop is haute.’
    • ‘From what I've seen and heard about her on the show, I think she is the bomb.’
  • 6A long forward pass or hit in a ball game.

    ‘a big 40-yard bomb down the middle to tight end Howard Cross’
    • ‘Minutes later Campbell scored again at the end of a deftly weighted bomb.’
    • ‘His right arm had enough juice to fire a 50-yard crossfield bomb to Connell at the goal line for the score.’
    • ‘Defenses learned how Williams could burn them deep, so they gave him a lot of room underneath to protect against the 40-yard bombs.’
    • ‘The bomb briefly tied the score at 7, but it was all downhill from there.’
    • ‘The two were superb last season and during the preseason, when the Culpepper-to-Moss bomb was the best part of an otherwise rusty offense.’
    • ‘On the second play of the second half, Manning took advantage of a dazed Aaron Glenn and hit Wayne on a 57-yard bomb.’
    • ‘Passing the bomb between teammates and trying to setup plays is really cool!’
    • ‘Evans showed a glimpse of his potential vs. the Raiders by catching a bomb from Bledsoe for 65 yards.’
    • ‘Godfrey, who was superb with ball in hand if a little suspect under the bomb, received the pass to beat his man and blast over.’
    • ‘Chris Chambers caught a bomb and had a 100-yard receiving day.’
    • ‘After York failed to take a high bomb, Rovers moved the ball out to Gavin Molloy who was awarded a try despite appeals for a forward pass.’
    • ‘Sharks captain David Peachey brought his side back into the match with a try just three minutes later as he chased down a Jason Kent bomb which Burt failed to contest.’
    • ‘They nudged further ahead when Steve Prescott converted after Vaikona knocked forward a bomb to an off-side Lee Radford.’
    • ‘Stand off Andy Hirst caused panic in the home defence with a high bomb which was scrambled out of play.’
    • ‘Loose forward Lee Charlton hoisted a huge bomb to the posts and Birky full back Morton Robinson lost the ball under pressure.’
    • ‘He came forward time after time, loading up with bombs from his swinging right hand - only few though, if any, connected.’
    • ‘The ball finds its way to Hedman, who launches a bomb down the middle.’
    • ‘Vincanity has been taking all sorts of heat for the Raptors losing streak but Carter was dropping bombs last night, scoring 43.’
    • ‘He made a couple of small mistakes, but nothing like the touchdown bomb that beat him in the preseason opener.’
    • ‘Moreover, it's responsible for inducing a leaguewide abandonment of the most entertaining play in football: the long bomb.’
  • 7informal A marijuana cigarette.

    cannabis cigarette, marijuana cigarette
    View synonyms

verb

  • 1with object Attack (a place or vehicle) with a bomb or bombs.

    ‘London was bombed, night after night’
    ‘a series of bombings’
    • ‘Before the Sri Lankan army captured Jaffna in 1995, the Air Force indiscriminately bombed civilian areas in the city.’
    • ‘We strafed and bombed the city until 23,000 of them were dead.’
    • ‘Villages were bombed from the air and a town was shelled from a cruiser at sea.’
    • ‘We cannot create a safer world by terrorising and bombing the land of every dictator who chooses not to take ‘our’ side.’
    • ‘But what if on arrival, their meeting place were bombed and all 21 were killed?’
    • ‘I think it would be regarded as sacrilegious to bomb the World Heritage sites of Egypt, but I am not sure we have the same scruples about Iraq.’
    • ‘Traditionally, cities being bombed turn off all their lights.’
    • ‘We bombed their fields and poisoned their country’
    • ‘The US is continuing to heavily bomb the city on a daily basis.’
    • ‘This means bombing the industrial cities, torpedoing the Atlantic convoys.’
    • ‘In advance of the line of attack the Luftwaffe heavily bombed all road and rail junctions, and concentrations of Polish troops.’
    • ‘A couple of nights ago they were using cluster bombs to bomb some area.’
    • ‘The next occasion Bangkok heard the drone of Allied bombers was 19 December when the dock area was bombed at night.’
    • ‘In retrospect, with 20/20 hindsight, people now understand that he should have bombed the camps.’
    • ‘The city was bombed at least six times through the next day and night.’
    • ‘As winter approaches, another group of Red Cross food distribution centres is inadvertently bombed in a country where four million people face starvation.’
    • ‘Moments after they left, the Yugoslav air force began bombing the city.’
    • ‘It's the supporters who know about how the field was bombed in World War II.’
    • ‘The area was heavily bombed in the Blitz, and later heavily redeveloped.’
    bombard, drop bombs on, explode, blast
    View synonyms
  • 2British informal no object , with adverbial of direction Move very quickly.

    ‘the bus came bombing along’
    • ‘Johnny Wright came bombing down the right wing and played the ball into Gerard McCargo who curled a sweet left foot shot in off the post.’
    • ‘After beating Andre Ooijer the Frenchman crossed for Silva to finish at the far post after bombing forward.’
    • ‘I have heard many a screeching of car breaks as the driver has been bombing along and come around the corner to meet a huge tractor.’
    • ‘It seemed, based on the reactions of drivers and pedestrians that a group of skaters bombing along the streets was a completely new experience.’
    • ‘It is the concern of the bank that prices have bombed along despite expectations to the contrary, he said.’
    • ‘Kevin Alderton is hoping to set the first-ever blind speed skiing record by bombing down a snowy slope at more than 100 mph.’
    • ‘He bombs about with the other dogs and is so determined to do whatever they do but he is really clumsy, which has landed him in bother.’
  • 3informal no object (of a movie, play, or other event) fail miserably.

    ‘a big-budget movie that bombed at the box office’
    ‘he bombed out at several tournaments’
    • ‘His first film bombed because it failed to live up to its name.’
    • ‘Noonan's party bombed in the subsequent election, but the photo his team conjured up became one of the campaign's most enduring images.’
    • ‘The host noted that, although the film bombed in 1958, Godard placed it on his list of top ten films of that year.’
    • ‘However, many of his latest movies have bombed at the box-office.’
    • ‘The film bombed, much to his disappointment, and he went back to school.’
    • ‘Whether Hughes enjoyed the joke is doubtful; expectation was meteoric and he stood to lose a fortune if the film bombed.’
    • ‘But movies that bombed at the box office yet had young adult cult appeal, are perfect Internet candidates.’
    • ‘Sadly, Revolution bombed heavily at the box office, although it had been beautifully shot and directed.’
    • ‘The distributors were not going to be happy, said the theatre manager, although since the film had bombed in Auckland they were probably not expecting too much.’
    • ‘If this play bombed, the Thespian Club was likely to drop the senior drama club altogether.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this big-budget movie bombed miserably in the box office and the producer burned his fingers.’
    • ‘The hugely expensive film bombed so badly that one of Hollywood's most venerable companies, United Artists, was destroyed.’
    • ‘It bombed so badly he almost started drinking again.’
    • ‘After Angus bombed, his career officially went into a lull so he enrolled at university and considered giving up acting altogether.’
    • ‘Cinemas could become much more entrepreneurial ventures, making more money by taking more of the risk of films smashing or bombing.’
    • ‘First he found solace in Bollywood, but his film Anarth bombed at the box office.’
    • ‘It is quite usual for 90 per cent of the films to bomb at the box office for not being up to the expectations.’
    • ‘Since the film bombed, I don't think we'll be seeing more of Riddick in the near future.’
    • ‘It opened in only 700 theatres across the country and quickly bombed.’
    • ‘Despite this remarkable line-up, the film bombed.’

Phrases

  • go down a bomb

    • informal Be very well received.

      ‘those gigs we did went down a bomb’
      • ‘‘Your research fails to mention that there was a popular Perry Como version of the song in 1957 which went down a bomb in the Glasgow music halls,’ he says.’
      • ‘This hilarious play, derived from the work of Brendan Kennelly, has delighted audiences all over the county and should go down a bomb in Finuge.’
      • ‘That went down a bomb with the soldiers who searched my luggage and cross-examined me several times at the airport.’
      • ‘This is the sort of blend of real history mixed with a dash of naughtiness which seems to go down a bomb with the visitors.’
      • ‘Made with black pudding supplied by Kendal butchers Watson & Woollard, the bread went down a bomb.’
      • ‘Whatever its contradictions, the play clearly went down a bomb with the young people in the audience, which is what really matters.’
      • ‘A few dropped out of the full monty photo and are possibly regretting the decision since the calendar is going down a bomb in local pubs.’
      • ‘It'd go down a bomb on the international tourist circuit.’
      • ‘They'd go down a bomb in Wimbledon, the bakers and their strawberry and cream tarts.’
      • ‘Rooney and his fresh and original act, which included a clever rap parody on popular nursery rhymes, went down a bomb.’
  • it looks like a bomb's hit it

    • informal Used to describe a place that is extremely messy or untidy in appearance.

      • ‘However, the room now looks like a bomb's hit it as there is stuff all over the floor!’
      • ‘I believe things get worse before they get better - that's why my house looks like a bomb's hit it because there's just stuff everywhere.’
      • ‘The head of access and recreation said: ‘This is well beyond vandalism, it's sheer wanton destruction - the building looks like a bomb's hit it.’’
      • ‘If I'm in charge on my own for just a few hours the place looks like a bomb's hit it.’
      • ‘The room tidy bit doesn't always happen but then when it gets to looking like a bomb's hit it they are the ones who have to blitz it clean.’
      • ‘One villager said: ‘My kitchen looks like a bomb's hit it at the moment.’
      • ‘No matter how organised it appears, I still leave the house in the mornings with my room looking like a bomb's hit it.’
      • ‘If the house is half clean he notices that I've only done half, but if I don't do any and the house looks like a bomb's hit it, he doesn't say anything….’
      • ‘Look at it, it looks like a bomb's hit it, it looks like a wasteland, there's not even a sign of a tree.’
      • ‘The fact that the place ends up looking like a bomb's hit it and people aren't sitting down to eat until 11.00 o'clock is irrelevant!’

Origin

Late 17th century: from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus ‘booming, humming’, from Greek bombos, of imitative origin.

Pronunciation

bomb

/bɑm//bäm/