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

  • intransitive v. To make a deep, resonant sound.
  • intransitive v. To grow, develop, or progress rapidly; flourish: Business is booming.
  • transitive v. To utter or give forth with a deep, resonant sound: a field commander booming out orders.
  • transitive v. To cause to grow or flourish; boost.
  • n. A deep resonant sound, as of an explosion.
  • n. A time of economic prosperity.
  • n. A sudden increase, as in popularity.
  • n. Nautical A long spar extending from a mast to hold or extend the foot of a sail.
  • n. A long pole extending upward at an angle from the mast of a derrick to support or guide objects being lifted or suspended.
  • n. A barrier composed of a chain of floating logs enclosing other free-floating logs, typically used to catch floating debris or to obstruct passage.
  • n. A floating barrier serving to contain an oil spill.
  • n. A long movable arm used to maneuver and support a microphone.
  • n. A spar that connects the tail surfaces and the main structure of an airplane.
  • n. A long hollow tube attached to a tanker aircraft, through which fuel flows to another aircraft being refueled in flight.
  • transitive v. To move or position using a crane: "The renegade logs somehow escaped while . . . the logs were boomed up into the mile-long rafts that ply these channels” ( Jack Weatherford).
  • idiom drop To act suddenly and forcefully to repress a practice or reprimand an offender; crack down.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make a loud, resonant sound.
  • v. (figuratively, of speech) To exclaim with force, to shout, to thunder.
  • v. To make something boom.
  • v. To publicly praise.
  • n. A low-pitched, resonant sound, such as of an explosion.
  • n. One of the calls of certain monkeys or birds.
  • interj. used to suggest the sound of an explosion.
  • n. A spar extending the foot of a sail; a spar rigged outboard from a ship's side to which boats are secured in harbour.
  • n. A movable pole used to support a microphone or camera.
  • n. A horizontal member of a crane or derrick, used for lifting.
  • n. The longest element of a Yagi antenna, on which the other, smaller ones, are transversally mounted.
  • n. A floating barrier used to obstruct navigation, for military or other purposes; or used for the containment of an oil spill.
  • n. A wishbone shaped piece of windsurfing equipment.
  • n. The arm of a crane (mechanical lifting machine).
  • n. The section of the arm on a backhoe closest to the tractor.
  • n. A period of prosperity or high market activity.
  • v. To be prosperous.
  • v. To cause to advance rapidly in price.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long pole or spar, run out for the purpose of extending the bottom of a particular sail
  • n. A long spar or beam, projecting from the mast of a derrick, from the outer end of which the body to be lifted is suspended.
  • n. A pole with a conspicuous top, set up to mark the channel in a river or harbor.
  • n. A strong chain cable, or line of spars bound together, extended across a river or the mouth of a harbor, to obstruct navigation or passage.
  • n. A line of connected floating timbers stretched across a river, or inclosing an area of water, to keep saw logs, etc., from floating away.
  • n. A hollow roar, as of waves or cannon; also, the hollow cry of the bittern; a booming.
  • n. A strong and extensive advance, with more or less noisy excitement; -- applied colloquially or humorously to market prices, the demand for stocks or commodities and to political chances of aspirants to office.
  • intransitive v. To cry with a hollow note; to make a hollow sound, as the bittern, and some insects.
  • intransitive v. To make a hollow sound, as of waves or cannon.
  • intransitive v. To rush with violence and noise, as a ship under a press of sail, before a free wind.
  • intransitive v. To have a rapid growth in market value or in popular favor; to go on rushingly.
  • transitive v. To extend, or push, with a boom or pole.
  • transitive v. To cause to advance rapidly in price.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a deep, hollow, continued sound.
  • To shove with a boom or spar.
  • To drive or guide (logs) down a stream with a boom or pole.
  • To pen or confine (logs) with a boom.
  • [The earliest instance of the word in this sense appears to be in the following passage:
  • Mr. McCullagh, in a letter to one of the editors of this Dictionary, says: “I cannot explain how I came to use it, except that, while on the gunboats on the Mississippi river during the war, I used to hear the pilots say of the river, when rising rapidly and overflowing its banks, that it (the river) was ‘booming.’ The idea I wished to convey was that the Grant movement was rising—swelling, etc. The word seemed to be a good one to the ear, and I kept it up. It was generally adopted about a year afterward. I used it as a noun after a while, and spoke of ‘the Grant boom.’ ”]
  • To bring into prominence or public notice by calculated means; push with vigor or spirit: as, to boom a commercial venture, or the candidacy of an aspirant for office.
  • n. A deep, hollow, continued sound.
  • n. A long pole or spar used to extend the foot of certain sails of a ship: as, the main-boom, jib-boom, studdingsail-boom.
  • n. A strong barrier, as of beams, or an iron chain or cable fastened to spars, extended across a river or the mouth of a harbor, to prevent an enemy's ships from passing.
  • n. A chain of floating logs fastened together at the ends and stretched across a river, etc., to stop floating timber.
  • n. A pole set up as a mark to direct seamen how to keep the channel in shallow water.
  • n. plural A space in a vessel's waist used for stowing boats and spare spars.
  • n. A sudden increase of activity; a rush.
  • n. A pole fastened lengthwise of a load of hay to bind the load.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make a deep hollow sound
  • v. hit hard
  • n. a sudden happening that brings good fortune (as a sudden opportunity to make money)
  • v. make a resonant sound, like artillery
  • n. a deep prolonged loud noise
  • v. grow vigorously
  • n. a state of economic prosperity
  • n. any of various more-or-less horizontal spars or poles used to extend the foot of a sail or for handling cargo or in mooring
  • v. be the case that thunder is being heard
  • n. a pole carrying an overhead microphone projected over a film or tv set


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

Middle English bomben, imitative of a loud noise.
Dutch, tree, pole, from Middle Dutch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Onomatopoetic, perhaps borrowed; compare German bummen, Dutch bommen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch boom ("tree, pole"). Compare English beam.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Or uncertain origin; perhaps a development of Etymology 1, above.


  • The cool metal vibrated under his hand, and, even as he waited, a deeper vibration went through the wall, boom, _boom_, low and rhythmic, like the beating of some great hidden heart, like the heart of the mountain itself, vast and stony and old.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • _Boom, boom, boom_, it broke nearer and nearer, as if a vast cordon of cannon was being drawn around the horizon.

    Prairie Folks

  • _Boom, boom, boom_, it broke nearer and nearer as if a vast cordon of cannon was being drawn around the horizon.

    The Arena Volume 4, No. 20, July, 1891

  • Oh, and by the way, despite various online rumours Neil is not dead ... he just has an art attack * boom boom*

    All - Digital Spy - Entertainment and Media News

  • In the mid-'80s, Ms. Rosner sang what she calls "boom, boom techno-pop '80s dance music" with the girl band Girl Talk.

    A Singing Comeback Helps Shelter

  • Ramping up debt in a boom is a recipe for short-term political gain that few other countries followed.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • And just as the controlling feature of a boom is the multiplication of the units of speculation, so the controlling factor in the recovery from a depression is the absorption of these excess units of speculation.

    Whirlwinds of Speculation

  • However, most of the "boom" is aimed at younger audience.

    MIND MELD: Guide to International SF/F Part IV

  • For many the conditions don't feel secure, economic or otherwise - much of this 'boom' is base on a more relaxed attitude to credit (but the worry is starting to bite) and the acceptance of slave labour so long as it is based abroad or hidden in our black economy.

    The Nazi In Me

  • The Latin American "boom" novelists are far better than peninsular Spanish novelists of the same period, like Goytisolo and Benet.

    ¡Bemsha SWING!


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  • I saw this headline today and hated it. After going through all the definitions above, it's probably not a case of egregious verbing.

    Top Industries Like Food,Beverage,Packaging Are Booming the Paper and Paperboard Packaging Market to $213.4 Billion.

    March 21, 2018

  • Middle English 'noise' or Dutch 'tree'

    February 8, 2013

  • Vengaboys are back in town.

    June 15, 2009

  • A favourite of Steve Jobs.

    November 10, 2007