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.

    • ‘Just as my vehicle crossed an aqueduct, they detonated a homemade bomb by remote control and it tore through the floor of my car.’
    • ‘The latest technology of death - incendiary bombs and high explosives - rained down on unprotected people for three hours.’
    • ‘The dirty bomb was made from a material called radioactive zirconium which was packed into a bomb casing with high explosives.’
    • ‘A passenger said the sound of the impact sounded like a bomb exploding.’
    • ‘It is why they blow up big bombs in civilian crowds.’
    • ‘The court heard that the bomb contained high explosives that were normally used for mining explosions in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘An exact mix of high explosive and incendiary bombs was used to start the kind of fires that burned Dresden.’
    • ‘It appeared the car was booby-trapped and the bomb was detonated by remote control.’
    • ‘According to sources, dissident groups are now at work planning to plant bombs or detonate incendiary devices.’
    • ‘There have been a total of 35 shooting attacks, and 13 bombs exploded.’
    • ‘A bomb or a missile explodes, spreading the chemical or biological agent over a wide area.’
    • ‘He said the bomb was detonated by remote control.’
    • ‘A bomb or grenade also exploded on the road during the shooting, but caused no casualties.’
    • ‘Those left behind learned to live with the fear of explosive or incendiary bombs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Similarly, although aircraft might contain high-explosive bombs, the target might require cluster bomb units.’
    • ‘But even the remote controlled bombs are not the perfect weapon.’
    • ‘A guard activated a radio-jamming device immediately so the bomb couldn't be detonated, West wrote.’
    • ‘That night airships dropped high explosive bombs and incendiaries on Bradley, Tipton, Wednesbury and Walsall.’
    • ‘He would fill the cores of bombs with explosives, and part of his job was to go to the aboveground nuclear tests in Nevada.’
    • ‘In the warehouse, Morriss's trap detonated, and a bomb exploded.’
    • ‘One day in October, a bomb exploded under his truck.’
    • ‘However, nothing happened until about 9.00 am when the capital was attacked with both incendiary and high explosive bombs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not all of the bombs detonated on impact, and many still lie in the ground here.’
    • ‘The majority of guerrilla attacks on US occupation forces have been carried out by remotely detonated bombs or rocket-propelled grenades.’
    • ‘It was later discovered that the bombs were practice bombs, filled with concrete or plaster, rather than explosives.’
    explosive, incendiary device, incendiary, device
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with modifier]An explosive device fitted into a specified object.
      ‘a package bomb’
      • ‘Many people were killed, including a friend of mine who was hit by shrapnel from a van bomb.’
      • ‘He made sure of that when he sent her a package bomb that blew off her hands and nearly killed her.’
      • ‘Following last Friday's bicycle bomb murder, a large number of workers went on strike in the city today.’
      • ‘A deadly manuscript bomb set off in an American city.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At 7.49 am, a backpack bomb tore through their train as it entered Santa Eugenia station, nine miles from Atocha.’
      • ‘They also discuss how to make a pressure cooker bomb and using a Walkman headset into a bobby-trapped device.’
      • ‘Exactly one year ago today, a devastating truck bomb tore through the Headquarters, killing 22 people.’
      • ‘Recent attempted van bomb attacks were foiled in Derry and Belfast.’
      • ‘But the owner used his telecommunications expertise to prepare the mobile phones that detonated the train bombs by remote control.’
      • ‘Big Ben has more recently figured in fevered truck bomb scenarios that result in it crashing down.’
      • ‘The employment of car and truck bombs demonstrates a level of expertise that perhaps would suggest the involvement of well-trained terrorists.’
    2. 1.2Nuclear weapons considered collectively as agents of mass destruction.
      ‘she joined the fight against the bomb’
      • ‘The age of the bomb, and of other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) continues.’
      • ‘Of little military significance, the city of 250,000 provided a good test of the bomb's destructiveness.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From the very outset all the combatants knew that the bomb would be both a weapon of destruction and a weapon of terror.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once inside the target, burning uranium is another part of the bomb's destructive power.’
      • ‘Despite the unarguable logic of the bomb, nuclear wars don't happen.’
      • ‘These proposals were eventually rejected for fear that the use of the bomb might provoke a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.’
    3. 1.3A small pressurized container that sprays liquid, foam, or gas.
      ‘the bug bombs we tried did not kill the cockroaches’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A lump of lava thrown out by a volcano.

    • ‘Fresh manure, too, dollops of it ramping over the concrete lip of the stall floor like lava bombs flung from a brown volcano.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everyone else gets going out of the way of the lava bombs and lava flows.’
    • ‘The group hovered along the surface, flying over the lava fields and dodging the rare incoming of a lava bomb.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 3informal 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. 3.1An 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.’
  • 4A 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.’
    • ‘They nudged further ahead when Steve Prescott converted after Vaikona knocked forward a bomb to an off-side Lee Radford.’
    • ‘Evans showed a glimpse of his potential vs. the Raiders by catching a bomb from Bledsoe for 65 yards.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, it's responsible for inducing a leaguewide abandonment of the most entertaining play in football: the long bomb.’
    • ‘The ball finds its way to Hedman, who launches a bomb down the middle.’
    • ‘The bomb briefly tied the score at 7, but it was all downhill from there.’
    • ‘Vincanity has been taking all sorts of heat for the Raptors losing streak but Carter was dropping bombs last night, scoring 43.’
    • ‘His right arm had enough juice to fire a 50-yard crossfield bomb to Connell at the goal line for the score.’
    • ‘He came forward time after time, loading up with bombs from his swinging right hand - only few though, if any, connected.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Defenses learned how Williams could burn them deep, so they gave him a lot of room underneath to protect against the 40-yard bombs.’
    • ‘Stand off Andy Hirst caused panic in the home defence with a high bomb which was scrambled out of play.’
    • ‘He made a couple of small mistakes, but nothing like the touchdown bomb that beat him in the preseason opener.’
    • ‘On the second play of the second half, Manning took advantage of a dazed Aaron Glenn and hit Wayne on a 57-yard bomb.’
    • ‘Loose forward Lee Charlton hoisted a huge bomb to the posts and Birky full back Morton Robinson lost the ball under pressure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Passing the bomb between teammates and trying to setup plays is really cool!’
    • ‘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.’
  • 5US 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.’
    • ‘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 year's poster looks good online sure, but the real-deal is totally the bomb.’
    • ‘This is a film in which ballet's da bomb and hip-hop is haute.’
    • ‘He is simply ‘da Bomb’ where ladies are concerned.’
    • ‘From what I've seen and heard about her on the show, I think she is the bomb.’
  • 6informal A marijuana cigarette.

    cannabis cigarette, marijuana cigarette
    View synonyms
  • 7British 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.’
    • ‘They may be high fashion, and they may well cost a bomb, but they are, fundamentally, half your basic shell suit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Soft-toys available in upmarket shops cost a bomb, whereas the toys here are priced at a very affordable range.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course, some of them cost a bomb, but their effect in a home makes up for everything.’
    • ‘It must have cost a bomb but it looked absolutely amazing on her.’
    • ‘The place was very small, and the drinks cost a bomb!’
    • ‘It cost a bomb, but the university footed the bill, as I had to move at their request.’
    a fortune, a small fortune, a king's ransom, a huge amount, a vast sum, a large sum of money, a lot, millions, billions
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verb

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

    ‘London was bombed, night after night’
    ‘a series of bombings’
    • ‘In advance of the line of attack the Luftwaffe heavily bombed all road and rail junctions, and concentrations of Polish troops.’
    • ‘We strafed and bombed the city until 23,000 of them were dead.’
    • ‘We bombed their fields and poisoned their country’
    • ‘The area was heavily bombed in the Blitz, and later heavily redeveloped.’
    • ‘Villages were bombed from the air and a town was shelled from a cruiser at sea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In retrospect, with 20/20 hindsight, people now understand that he should have bombed the camps.’
    • ‘Traditionally, cities being bombed turn off all their lights.’
    • ‘The city was bombed at least six times through the next day and night.’
    • ‘We cannot create a safer world by terrorising and bombing the land of every dictator who chooses not to take ‘our’ side.’
    • ‘Before the Sri Lankan army captured Jaffna in 1995, the Air Force indiscriminately bombed civilian areas in the city.’
    • ‘The US is continuing to heavily bomb the city on a daily basis.’
    • ‘The next occasion Bangkok heard the drone of Allied bombers was 19 December when the dock area was bombed at night.’
    • ‘But what if on arrival, their meeting place were bombed and all 21 were killed?’
    • ‘A couple of nights ago they were using cluster bombs to bomb some area.’
    • ‘This means bombing the industrial cities, torpedoing the Atlantic convoys.’
    • ‘It's the supporters who know about how the field was bombed in World War II.’
    bombard, drop bombs on, explode, blast
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  • 2informal [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’
    • ‘Since the film bombed, I don't think we'll be seeing more of Riddick in the near future.’
    • ‘Noonan's party bombed in the subsequent election, but the photo his team conjured up became one of the campaign's most enduring images.’
    • ‘Whether Hughes enjoyed the joke is doubtful; expectation was meteoric and he stood to lose a fortune if the film bombed.’
    • ‘Despite this remarkable line-up, the film bombed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this big-budget movie bombed miserably in the box office and the producer burned his fingers.’
    • ‘After Angus bombed, his career officially went into a lull so he enrolled at university and considered giving up acting altogether.’
    • ‘It bombed so badly he almost started drinking again.’
    • ‘It opened in only 700 theatres across the country and quickly bombed.’
    • ‘It is quite usual for 90 per cent of the films to bomb at the box office for not being up to the expectations.’
    • ‘The hugely expensive film bombed so badly that one of Hollywood's most venerable companies, United Artists, was destroyed.’
    • ‘The film bombed, much to his disappointment, and he went back to school.’
    • ‘His first film bombed because it failed to live up to its name.’
    • ‘Sadly, Revolution bombed heavily at the box office, although it had been beautifully shot and directed.’
    • ‘But movies that bombed at the box office yet had young adult cult appeal, are perfect Internet candidates.’
    • ‘The host noted that, although the film bombed in 1958, Godard placed it on his list of top ten films of that year.’
    • ‘First he found solace in Bollywood, but his film Anarth bombed at the box office.’
    • ‘However, many of his latest movies have bombed at the box-office.’
    • ‘If this play bombed, the Thespian Club was likely to drop the senior drama club altogether.’
    • ‘Cinemas could become much more entrepreneurial ventures, making more money by taking more of the risk of films smashing or bombing.’
    be unsuccessful, not succeed, lack success, fall through, fall flat, break down, abort, miscarry, be defeated, suffer defeat, be in vain, be frustrated, collapse, founder, misfire, backfire, not come up to scratch, meet with disaster, come to grief, come to nothing, come to naught, miss the mark, run aground, go astray
    View synonyms
  • 3British informal [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move very quickly.

    ‘the bus came bombing along’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It seemed, based on the reactions of drivers and pedestrians that a group of skaters bombing along the streets was a completely new experience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After beating Andre Ooijer the Frenchman crossed for Silva to finish at the far post after bombing forward.’
    • ‘It is the concern of the bank that prices have bombed along despite expectations to the contrary, he said.’

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.’
      • ‘They'd go down a bomb in Wimbledon, the bakers and their strawberry and cream tarts.’
      • ‘It'd go down a bomb on the international tourist circuit.’
      • ‘That went down a bomb with the soldiers who searched my luggage and cross-examined me several times at the airport.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.

      • ‘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….’
      • ‘If I'm in charge on my own for just a few hours the place looks like a bomb's hit it.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No matter how organised it appears, I still leave the house in the mornings with my room looking like a bomb's hit it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, the room now looks like a bomb's hit it as there is stuff all over the floor!’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

bomb

/bäm/