Definition of bombshell in US English:



  • 1An overwhelming surprise or disappointment.

    ‘the news came as a bombshell’
    • ‘Bosses dropped a bombshell on employees just weeks before Christmas, announcing the company would shut because it was trading at a loss.’
    • ‘But when the gas central heating packed in, insurers dropped a bombshell.’
    • ‘But then Sadesky drops his own bombshell: the Russians have designed and built a Doomsday Device as a deterrent.’
    • ‘Last Wednesday the Minister for Social Development and Employment dropped a bombshell on the horizon.’
    • ‘The Blues boss dropped a bombshell earlier this season when he said he intended to quit when his current contract runs out in the summer of 2006.’
    • ‘Then, the other night, while drunk, depressed and emotionally lost (for various reasons), she dropped a bombshell on me.’
    • ‘The Wanderers boss dropped a bombshell when he sent an email to every club in Britain, making seven of his players available for transfer.’
    • ‘Just as the season is about to start they have dropped a bombshell with these guidance notes.’
    • ‘So you can imagine their shock when just minutes after their daughter Harriet was born doctors dropped a bombshell.’
    • ‘The Yorkshire captain has dropped a bombshell by announcing his retirement from first class cricket.’
    • ‘After this week's fuss over news we can expect bigger and more explosive bombshells in future.’
    • ‘The publication in November 2001 triggered the anticipated bombshell.’
    • ‘Instead, she released an explosive bombshell in the courtroom.’
    • ‘I move on to the projections that were released as something of a bombshell last week.’
    • ‘A month later, bosses dropped a bombshell by announcing that the factory was too old and would have to close, with the loss of 500 jobs.’
    • ‘Then Dave dropped a bombshell - he quit calling and started seeing another girl.’
    • ‘These recommendations are not bombshells; they are mostly common sense.’
    • ‘Three weeks later, and one week before the union election, the President ‘dropped a bombshell,’ as the Miami New Times put it.’
    • ‘Just days after he announced he'd stay leader for as long as the party wanted him the prime minister dropped a bombshell.’
    • ‘Almost as soon as the train departed, the conductor dropped a bombshell.’
    blow, upset, disturbance, source of distress, source of amazement, source of consternation
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  • 2informal A very attractive woman.

    ‘a twenty-year-old blonde bombshell’
    • ‘Naomi smiled and the blonde bombshell snootily followed her, without giving a backward glance.’
    • ‘Rhos of course, wore only black, being the blonde bombshell she was.’
    • ‘This point was highlighted by contributors to the documentary, who indicated that an articulate and intelligent woman lay underneath the blonde bombshell.’
    • ‘Blonde bombshell Turner was his third wife for about six months, gorgeous brunette Gardner, his fifth for about a year.’
    • ‘One of them looked up at the approaching sight of the blonde bombshell in a short skirt and black leather jacket wrapped tight around her very arousing figure.’
    • ‘To Walter's surprise he ends up with the stunningly beautiful Nadia, a blonde bombshell who seems personable and level-headed.’
    • ‘Suzie, who impersonates the blonde bombshell for a living, dressed up as the screen icon for a day at the races.’
    • ‘Lupin and his boys are saved from capture by a blonde bombshell and an Indian in a wheelchair.’
    • ‘Though it obviously wasn't Marilyn herself posing for the camera, the king-size bed she chose to lounge on was previously owned by the blonde bombshell.’
    • ‘Of course, when you are a blonde bombshell, there are bound to be white knights coming out of the old-world woodwork.’
    • ‘It's the blonde bombshell's battle for big bucks.’
    • ‘At just 19, the actress has filled the shoes of Hollywood legends and reinterpreted the blonde bombshell for a new century.’
    • ‘The blonde bombshell picked up the wriggling puppy and folded him under her arm.’
    • ‘The hockey star seemed a little overprotective of his blonde bombshell, going so far as to give an autograph seeker the evil eye and a few choice words.’
    • ‘Later on, photographers caught up with her again, and the blonde bombshell loudly declared, ‘I love New York!’’
    • ‘Her treatment of the role was Marilyn Monroe to the core, except Louise has a far better voice than the blonde bombshell.’
    • ‘The blonde bombshell stayed in the Burlington Hotel last night before flying back to London today.’
    • ‘She is the object of their often distracted attentions, a blonde bombshell and all-around American girl.’
    • ‘While keeping an eye on Marilyn Monroe (whom Sinatra had put up at one of his LA pads), Jacobs is propositioned by the the blonde bombshell.’
    • ‘I awoke to find myself lying next to the blonde bombshell who was sleeping peacefully in my arms.’
    beautiful woman, belle, vision, charmer, enchantress, venus, goddess, beauty queen, english rose, picture, seductress
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  • 3dated An artillery shell.

    • ‘So we have bombshells that hit every corner of the airport, and of course they strike a lot of airplanes.’
    • ‘V-Day went past this year leaving a huge hangover of love, friendship, sentiment and a few bullets and bombshells as well, that spilled all over the city screens.’
    • ‘To avoid being struck by bombshells and bullets, my entire family descended to the dark bomb shelter below our house and hid.’
    explosive, incendiary device, incendiary, device
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