Definition of shrapnel in English:


Syllabification: shrap·nel
Pronunciation: /ˈSHrapnəl


1Fragments of a bomb, shell, or other object thrown out by an explosion.
More example sentences
  • Soft flesh is no match for mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenade fragments and shrapnel thrown out in all directions by roadside bombs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
1.1 historical A shell containing bullets or pieces of metal timed to burst short of impact.
More example sentences
  • A couple of shrapnels were sent after them to keep them on the run.
  • Under them 18-pounder shrapnel, shedding sparks of burning fuses, tore screaming away east.
  • Hardly did I walk two or three steps than four or five shrapnels burst near me.


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 World War I.

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