One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Fragments of a bomb, shell, or other object thrown out by an explosion.
- ‘First into battle was Joe, who ran a head-on-head, slightly damaging his shield power from the enemy's explosion throwing shrapnel into it.’
- ‘With the gunfire, shell explosions, shrapnel flying around him, he couldn't think with all destruction going on around him.’
- ‘Almost immediately, Smith was wounded a second time by fragments of shrapnel.’
- ‘A 20-year-old man in his house when it was bombed ‘took shrapnel in his leg,’ Campbell recounted.’
- ‘A second later, the building exploded, throwing bits of shrapnel everywhere and knocking the unprepared Chris off his feet.’
- ‘Those who escaped death from blast and shrapnel wounds were ordered outside, only to be mown down under a hail of bullets from automatic weapons.’
- ‘The energy overload feedback has electrocuted several that were not killed by shrapnel when the explosions occurred.’
- ‘Even the captain himself worked on pressurized storage lockers around the perimeter of the hold had been damaged by shrapnel from the explosion.’
- ‘Another mortar blast struck a tree looking down over the trenches, scattering fragments of shrapnel all down into the fortifications.’
- ‘Two Kastani fighters were slashed with shrapnel from the explosion, and the nearest Alliance vessels were physically displaced by the shock wave.’
- ‘She recoiled from the explosion and flying shrapnel.’
- ‘Then you work out the size of the bomb, the type of explosives, the attendant shrapnel, the amount of building damage and the amount of flying glass.’
- ‘The hospital also received 39 people who were wounded in the explosion, most by shrapnel.’
- ‘Most of the shells fired by artillery guns were high explosive shells which could throw shrapnel over a wide distance in the trenches.’
- ‘Detectives also found about 130 fragments of steel shrapnel lying around the blast scene.’
- ‘Soft flesh is no match for mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenade fragments and shrapnel thrown out in all directions by roadside bombs.’
- ‘He returned home with shrapnel wounds and tales of fighting U.S. military might with a rifle.’
- ‘The captain's colleagues received shrapnel wounds but their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.’
- ‘Wooden fragments exploded into shrapnel all around him.’
- ‘Bombs not only throw off shrapnel themselves, they create lots of deadly flying debris, including flying glass from broken windows, that can kill and maim.’
- 1.1historical A shell containing bullets or pieces of metal timed to burst short of impact.
- ‘The battalion was shelled intermittently with high explosive and shrapnel.’
- ‘Hardly did I walk two or three steps than four or five shrapnels burst near me.’
- ‘A couple of shrapnels were sent after them to keep them on the run.’
- ‘British cannon bombarded Nxele's men with shrapnel shell and ensured their rout.’
- ‘The public has chosen to ignore the facts that shrapnel shell has become obsolete and that anti-aircraft guns fire high-explosive only’
- ‘A belated shrapnel-shot shrieked and burst, and everything grew still.’
- ‘Under them 18-pounder shrapnel, shedding sparks of burning fuses, tore screaming away east.’
- ‘Shrapnel shell was unsuited to the disablement of aeroplanes.’
Early 19th century: named after General Henry Shrapnel (1761–1842), the British soldier who invented the shell; the sense ‘fragments of a bomb or shell’ originated during the First World War.
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