Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To make a deep, resonant sound.
  • intransitive verb To grow, develop, or progress rapidly; flourish.
  • intransitive verb To utter or give forth with a deep, resonant sound.
  • intransitive verb To cause to grow or flourish; boost.
  • noun A deep resonant sound, as of an explosion.
  • noun A time of economic prosperity.
  • noun A sudden increase, as in popularity.
  • noun Nautical A long spar extending from a mast to hold or extend the foot of a sail.
  • noun A long pole extending upward at an angle from the mast of a derrick to support or guide objects being lifted or suspended.
  • noun A barrier composed of a chain of floating logs enclosing other free-floating logs, typically used to catch floating debris or to obstruct passage.
  • noun A floating barrier serving to contain an oil spill.
  • noun A long movable arm used to maneuver and support a microphone.
  • noun A spar that connects the tail surfaces and the main structure of an airplane.
  • noun A long hollow tube attached to a tanker aircraft, through which fuel flows to another aircraft being refueled in flight.
  • transitive verb To move or position using a crane.
  • idiom (drop/lower) To act suddenly and forcefully to repress a practice or reprimand an offender; crack down.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pole fastened lengthwise of a load of hay to bind the load.
  • To make a deep, hollow, continued sound.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A long pole or spar used to extend the foot of certain sails of a ship: as, the main-boom, jib-boom, studdingsail-boom.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A chain of floating logs fastened together at the ends and stretched across a river, etc., to stop floating timber.
  • noun A pole set up as a mark to direct seamen how to keep the channel in shallow water.
  • noun plural A space in a vessel's waist used for stowing boats and spare spars.
  • noun A sudden increase of activity; a rush.

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

  • noun A hollow roar, as of waves or cannon; also, the hollow cry of the bittern; a booming.
  • noun Colloq. U. S. 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 verb To cry with a hollow note; to make a hollow sound, as the bittern, and some insects.
  • intransitive verb To make a hollow sound, as of waves or cannon.
  • intransitive verb To rush with violence and noise, as a ship under a press of sail, before a free wind.
  • intransitive verb To have a rapid growth in market value or in popular favor; to go on rushingly.
  • noun (Naut.) A long pole or spar, run out for the purpose of extending the bottom of a particular sail
  • noun (Mech.) 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.
  • noun obsolete A pole with a conspicuous top, set up to mark the channel in a river or harbor.
  • noun (Mil. & Naval) 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.
  • noun (Lumbering) A line of connected floating timbers stretched across a river, or inclosing an area of water, to keep saw logs, etc., from floating away.
  • noun one of the iron rings on the yards through which the studding-sail booms traverse.
  • noun that space on the upper deck of a ship between the foremast and mainmast, where the boats, spare spars, etc., are stowed.
  • transitive verb (Naut.) To extend, or push, with a boom or pole.
  • transitive verb Colloq. U. S. To cause to advance rapidly in price.

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

  • verb To make a loud, resonant sound.
  • verb transitive (figuratively, of speech) To exclaim with force, to shout, to thunder.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English bomben, imitative of a loud noise.]

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

[Dutch, tree, pole, from Middle Dutch; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • A favourite of Steve Jobs.

    November 10, 2007

  • Vengaboys are back in town.

    June 15, 2009

  • Middle English 'noise' or Dutch 'tree'

    February 8, 2013

  • 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