from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An explosive weapon detonated by impact, proximity to an object, a timing mechanism, or other means.
  • noun An atomic or nuclear bomb. Used with the.
  • noun Any of various weapons detonated to release destructive material, such as smoke or gas.
  • noun Football A long forward pass.
  • noun A container capable of withstanding high internal pressure.
  • noun A vessel for storing compressed gas.
  • noun A portable, manually operated container that ejects a spray, foam, or gas under pressure.
  • noun Slang A dismal failure; a fiasco.
  • noun Slang An old car.
  • noun Slang One that is excellent or superior. Used with the.
  • noun A large amount of money.
  • noun A great success.
  • intransitive verb To attack, damage, or destroy with or as if with bombs.
  • intransitive verb To drop a bomb or bombs.
  • intransitive verb Slang To fail miserably.
  • intransitive verb Slang To paint a graffito.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A variant of boom.
  • noun An explosive projectile, consisting of a hollow ball or spherical shell, generally of cast-iron, filled with a bursting charge, fired from a mortar, and usually exploded by means of a fuse or tube filled with a slow-burning compound, which is ignited by the exploding powder when the mortar is discharged.
  • noun Any missile constructed upon similar principles: as, a dynamite bomb.
  • noun In geology, a block of scoria ejected from the crater of a volcano.
  • noun A small war-vessel carrying mortars for throwing bombs; a bomb-ketch.
  • noun A great noise; a loud hollow sound; the stroke of a bell.
  • To attack with bombs; bombard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To sound; to boom; to make a humming or buzzing sound.
  • transitive verb obsolete To bombard.
  • noun obsolete A great noise; a hollow sound.
  • noun (Mil.) A shell; esp. a spherical shell, like those fired from mortars. See Shell.
  • noun A bomb ketch.
  • noun (Mil.) a chest filled with bombs, or only with gunpowder, placed under ground, to cause destruction by its explosion.
  • noun (Naut.) a small ketch or vessel, very strongly built, on which mortars are mounted to be used in naval bombardments; -- called also mortar vessel.
  • noun a lance or harpoon with an explosive head, used in whale fishing.
  • noun a mass of lava of a spherical or pear shape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An explosive device used or intended as a weapon.
  • noun slang A failure; an unpopular commercial product.
  • noun US, Australia, informal A car in poor condition.
  • noun UK, slang A large amount of money, a fortune.
  • noun chiefly UK, slang A success; the bomb.
  • noun chiefly UK, slang A very attractive woman; a bombshell.
  • noun often in combination An action or statement that causes a strong reaction.
  • noun dated The atomic bomb.
  • noun American football, slang A long forward pass.
  • noun chemistry A heavy-walled container designed to permit chemical reactions under high pressure.
  • noun informal A jump into water in a squatting position, with the arms wrapped around the legs, for maximum splashing.
  • verb transitive, intransitive To attack using one or more bombs; to bombard.
  • verb intransitive, slang To fail dismally.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus, a booming sound, from Greek bombos, of imitative origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French bombe, from Italian bomba, from Latin bombus ("a booming sound"), from Ancient Greek βόμβος (bombos, "booming, humming, buzzing"), imitative of the sound itself.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word bomb.


  • “We have a situation,” Tyler said, deliberately not using the word bomb for fear of panicking those around him.

    The Ark Boyd Morrison 2009

  • According to a sources officers found a box with the word bomb written on it and a bag on top inside one of the carriages on the train. | Top Stories 2011

  • That same day another Delta flight to San Diego diverted to Albequerque after a flight attendant found a napkin with the word bomb written on it in the plane's bathroom.

    ABC News: Top Stories 2011

  • If we are to win or challenge for the title bomb him out and put Kalou in the same cab. characters left.

    Evening Standard - Home Tim Rich 2011

  • Train evacuated after suspicious package found at Riverstone railway station A COMMUTER train has been evacuated after an "unidentified object" with the word bomb written on it was found on it just after 9am. | Top Stories 2011

  • I said first of all that never happens, you never know a bomb is about to go off and you have all the information you need to stop it except for one piece from someone in custody.

    Checking in on Thoreau: arguing about John Brown and finding friends in windfall acorns 2009

  • Fingar, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence, said a decision to make a bomb is a political one that he does not think the Iranian government has made.

    doubtless another antisemite 2008

  • Instead of a moment remembered from her past or a meaningful interaction at the market, the impetus for Mariyah to dismantle her bomb is a completely random event.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat 2008

  • The main reason why Iran wants the bomb is as a deterrent -- against Israel, which already has one, and against the United States, which seems more aggressive against countries that don't have bombs (Iraq) than against countries that do (North Korea).

    Krauthammer Bombs - Swampland - 2008

  • Fingar, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for intelligence, said a decision to make a bomb is a political one that he does not think the Iranian government has made.

    11 « December « 2008 « Niqnaq 2008

  • Fears have risen over the use of thermobaric weapons by Russia after the Ukrainian ambassador to the US said a vacuum bomb – another term for the weapon – had been used during the invasion.

    What are thermobaric weapons and how do they work? Virginia Harrison 2022

  • The thermobaric weapon, also known as an aerosol bomb or fuel air explosive, is a two-stage munition.

    What are thermobaric weapons and how do they work? Virginia Harrison 2022


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "bomb" as verb did not enter common use until WWI.

    December 14, 2006

  • Anna

    May 6, 2008

  • Too right kewp. I sent a message in Finland as follows.

    "Please meet Bomb from Tornio train and bring to main entrance of station."

    Lucky I didn't get arrested.

    May 6, 2008

  • One definition WeirdNET does not list is this one: "A small war vessel carrying mortars for throwing bombs and also known as a bomb-galliot, bomb-ketch, bomb-ship, bomb-vessel, or bombard. See also ketch."

    A Sea of Words

    September 6, 2008

  • "First, take a quick look at what type of bomb you're dealing with. Does it look like a black bowling ball with a burning fuse? If so, it's a cartoon bomb, and there is nothing to fear. Just let it go off in your hand and respond with a bewildered, hangdog expression and blackface. (This comes off with soap and water.)

    In most cases, though, the device will be a classic time bomb. Federal regulations require that every time bomb include an explosive component, several wires of differing colors, and—since 1973—a clock indicating how much time remains before the explosion. (Thank God for Ralph Nader.) The clock will be either analog (a Latin word meaning 'round') or digital (squarish). The wires will always be red, black, and white, unless they are blue, black, and white, or red, blue, and black or brown."

    - Jim Stallard, 'Bomb Disposal: A Primer',

    December 5, 2008

  • a spherical shaped dessert. chocolate bomb, chocolate coated sugar bombs

    The dessert is also spelled bombe, chocolate bombe

    October 15, 2015