Definition of photobomb in US English:



[with object]informal
  • 1Spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera's field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke.

    ‘we were interrupted and photobombed by at least twenty tourists’
    • ‘Photobombing has become something of a growing phenomenon in the age of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.’
    • ‘We got photobombed at Sydney Opera House!’
    • ‘Photobombing is one of my favorite hobbies ever.’
    • ‘They hold rowdy protests outside his office, heckle him at public appearances, and even photobomb him at City Hall.’
    • ‘Photobombing normally leaves people upset about strangers crashing their nice Kodak moment.’
    • ‘The son of Australian Olympic chief John Coates has become a global internet phenomenon after he photobombed the Queen.’
    • ‘A hungry emu photobombed a holidaying couple after they stopped feeding it to pay attention to other animals on the farm they were visiting.’
    • ‘During the announcement for Best Female Actress in a Comedy Series, Tina Fey photobombed her BFF and fellow nominee, Amy Poehler.’
    • ‘It turns out, back in June I was photobombed while having my photo taken with Rob Brydon’
    • ‘I only found out later that I had actually photobombed Kim Kardashian.’
    • ‘I got photobombed by some guy wearing an "East Nasty" shirt.’
    • ‘Then I got photobombed by my boss and a coworker, which made me realize how silly these outfit photos can sometimes be.’
    • ‘I got photobombed by Giovanni Ribisi at the Avatar exhibit preview in Seattle.’
    • ‘Tina Fey was already a black belt in photobombing when she hit the background of this picture.’
    • ‘Here he is photobombing Kathleen Sebelius at an event where he reportedly pestered her to call his children on his phone.’
    • ‘As you can see, I was photobombed by the entire tour group: so much for a clean, picturesque backdrop of the desert.’
    • ‘Please check out this polaroid from around 1979 of Chevy Chase getting photobombed by John Belushi on the set of SNL.’
    • ‘As KROQ listeners, chances are high that you’ve photobombed a friend or complete stranger, or better yet, you've been photobombed.’
    • ‘Thom Yorke is awesome. Not for being in Radiohead, but for photobombing this tourist in France.’
    • ‘Earlier this year I popped up on the front page of the New York Times photobombing Obama.’
    1. 1.1 Spoil (a photograph) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera's field of view as the picture is taken.
      ‘she actually photobombed a picture of me with Jonah’
      • ‘A huge fan, the 51-year-old Seinfeld actress was forced to photobomb a snap in order to get a picture with the First Lady.’
      • ‘Some of his favourite subjects are children - even when he gets back to the office, downloads his shots and realises they've adroitly photobombed his pictures.’
      • ‘When she was posing for a picture in Hawaii, a half-naked streaker holding a torch photobombed her picture.’
      • ‘If you are taking a picture and someone photobombs it, play it cool.’
      • ‘You all know that I love photo-bombing photos, so I am certainly happy to do it under any circumstances.’
      • ‘I've already photobombed two tourist pics today.’
      • ‘I just noticed my puppy Pepper photo bombed my picture.’
      • ‘As these pictures show, no animal can photobomb a picture like man's best friend.’
      • ‘I thought he might regret letting me eat a bite of his deep fried grilled cheese after I photobombed his picture.’
      • ‘My husband's ocean picture was photobombed by a stranger's dog.’
      • ‘Someone captured the moment and you can actually make out someone on the tennis courts photobombing the picture.’
      • ‘My sister photobombed nearly all our good pics!’


  • A photograph that has been spoiled by the unexpected appearance of an unintended subject in the camera's field of view as the picture was taken.

    ‘everyone loves a good photobomb and it's even more hilarious when celebrities get in on the action’
    • ‘The Josh Hamilton photobomb is taking the Internet by storm and making a lot of fans jealous.’
    • ‘In the epic photobomb moment watched live by one billion people during the opening ceremony, Phil Coates slowly lowers himself into a shot with Her Majesty.’
    • ‘These photos take the concept of the photobomb to a whole new level.’
    • ‘The best reader-submitted photobombs submitted by midnight this Friday, will win one of 10 double passes to the Gold Coast premiere of Hugh Jackman's new film.’
    • ‘This is the best photobomb I’ve ever seen.’
    • ‘We've all seen photobombs - photos where others hop in unexpectedly, essentially "ruining" the photo to hilarious effect - but we've never seen photobombs quite as hilarious as the ones from weddings.’
    • ‘A post on the fans' group website compared Gill's photobomb to infamous prankster Karl Power, who changed into his kit to bustle in on United's team photo before a quarter-final loss in 2001.’
    • ‘It's been a while since we rounded up the best animal photobombs, but rest assured: the animal kingdom has been hard at work ruining people's pictures.’


Early 21st century: perhaps after Google bomb.