Definition of bomb in English:


Line breaks: bomb
Pronunciation: /bɒm


  • 1A container filled with explosive or incendiary material, designed to explode on impact or when detonated by a timing, proximity, or remote-control device: [as modifier]: a bomb attack
    More example sentences
    • The second night attack, which used high explosive and incendiary bombs alternately, caused the first man-made firestorm which affected an area of
    • According to sources, dissident groups are now at work planning to plant bombs or detonate incendiary devices.
    • An exact mix of high explosive and incendiary bombs was used to start the kind of fires that burned Dresden.
    explosive, incendiary device, incendiary, device; missile, projectile, trajectile
  • 1.1 [with modifier] An explosive device fitted into a specified object: a 100 lb van bomb
    More example sentences
    • He made sure of that when he sent her a package bomb that blew off her hands and nearly killed her.
    • The building has been targeted before, and was the scene of a massive van bomb in 1993.
    • Recent attempted van bomb attacks were foiled in Derry and Belfast.
  • 1.2 (the bomb) Nuclear weapons considered collectively as agents of mass destruction: she joined the fight against the bomb
    More example sentences
    • Harry Truman, who made the decision to use it, shared with the electorate the opinion that the bomb was a legitimate weapon.
    • Let me say that I have a strong but constructive critique against parts of the traditional left with regard to their attitude to the bomb and nuclear power.
    • The age of the bomb, and of other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological) continues.
  • 2A thing resembling a bomb in shape, in particular:
    More example sentences
    • Even Lush haven't got their Christmas pudding shaped bath bombs out yet.
  • 2.1 (also volcanic bomb) A lump of lava thrown out by a volcano.
    More example sentences
    • Everyone else gets going out of the way of the lava bombs and lava flows.
    • Fresh manure, too, dollops of it ramping over the concrete lip of the stall floor like lava bombs flung from a brown volcano.
    • The party ran out of the palace and looked up in the sky and saw a swarm of what looked like lava bees holding lava bombs.
  • 2.2A pear-shaped weight used to anchor a fishing line to the bottom.
    More example sentences
    • For longer range work I will use a semi-fixed bomb for weights up to 1/2 ounce.
    • The lead should be heavy enough to counter the weight of the current, and flat bombs are better than round ones which will tend to roll downstream with the current.
  • 4 informal A film, play, or other event that fails badly: that bomb of an old movie
    More example sentences
    • And while expensive star signings have won lacklustre ratings, the channel's film arm has produced a string of critical and commercial bombs.
  • 5 (the (or da) bomb) US informal An outstandingly good person or thing: the site would really be da bomb if its content were updated more frequently
    More example sentences
    • But as it turns out, this cute little game is still da bomb.
    • I played using more of the lower register, which is totally DA BOMB on my violin, and I really need to do that more often.
    • He is simply ‘da Bomb’ where ladies are concerned.
  • 6A long forward pass or hit in a ball game: a two-run bomb
    More example sentences
    • They nudged further ahead when Steve Prescott converted after Vaikona knocked forward a bomb to an off-side Lee Radford.
    • Passing the bomb between teammates and trying to setup plays is really cool!
    • Defenses learned how Williams could burn them deep, so they gave him a lot of room underneath to protect against the 40-yard bombs.
  • 7 informal A cannabis cigarette.


Back to top  
  • 1 [with object] Attack (a place or object) with a bomb or bombs: they bombed the city at dawn
    More example sentences
    • In advance of the line of attack the Luftwaffe heavily bombed all road and rail junctions, and concentrations of Polish troops.
    • The next occasion Bangkok heard the drone of Allied bombers was 19 December when the dock area was bombed at night.
    • We strafed and bombed the city until 23,000 of them were dead.
    bombard, drop bombs on, explode, blast; shell, torpedo, blitz, strafe, pound; attack, assault, raid; blow up, blow to bits, blow sky-high, destroy, wipe out, level, raze (to the ground), demolish, flatten, topple, wreck, devastate, pulverize, obliterate, ravage, smash
    archaic cannonade
  • 1.1 (bomb someone out) Make someone homeless by destroying their home with bombs: my family were bombed out while I was fighting
    More example sentences
    • I lived in a two-up, two-down in a cul-de-sac in Croydon, with an outside loo, and we were bombed out three times during the war.
    • The implication is that you don't have an ethical right to bomb them out of their ability to retaliate against you.
    • What are their living conditions going to be like after we bomb them out?
  • 2 [no object, with adverbial of direction] British informal Move very quickly: we were bombing down the motorway at breakneck speed
    More example sentences
    • I have heard many a screeching of car breaks as the driver has been bombing along and come around the corner to meet a huge tractor.
    • Kevin Alderton is hoping to set the first-ever blind speed skiing record by bombing down a snowy slope at more than 100 mph.
    • It is the concern of the bank that prices have bombed along despite expectations to the contrary, he said.
  • 3 [no object] informal (Of a film, play, or other event) fail badly: it just became another big-budget film that bombed
    More example sentences
    • His first film bombed because it failed to live up to its name.
    • The hugely expensive film bombed so badly that one of Hollywood's most venerable companies, United Artists, was destroyed.
    • The distributors were not going to be happy, said the theatre manager, although since the film had bombed in Auckland they were probably not expecting too much.


go down a bomb

British informal Be very well received: those gigs we did went down a bomb
More example sentences
  • Made with black pudding supplied by Kendal butchers Watson & Woollard, the bread went down a bomb.
  • This is the sort of blend of real history mixed with a dash of naughtiness which seems to go down a bomb with the visitors.
  • They'd go down a bomb in Wimbledon, the bakers and their strawberry and cream tarts.

go like a bomb

British informal
  • 1Be very successful: the party went like a bomb
    More example sentences
    • In the target seats we have been going like a bomb and there is a great deal of confidence.
    • I was going like a bomb with those two birds from the gasworks before I tried your Jimmy Cagney Routine.
    • Fund Raising has gone like a bomb with a total so far of an amazing £3,200 raised!
  • 2(Of a vehicle or person) move very fast.
    More example sentences
    • The connection goes like a bomb for 2 minutes then just slows down to less than a dial-up connection!
    • The York went like a bomb, was utterly reliable - if a bit rattly - and was easy to fix if it did go wrong.
    • ‘And Lewis went like a bomb for the first 400 metres up to the corner and then another 100 metres.’

look like a bomb's hit it

informal (Of a place) be extremely messy or untidy in appearance: the room looked like a bomb had hit it
More example sentences
  • The room tidy bit doesn't always happen but then when it gets to looking like a bomb's hit it they are the ones who have to blitz it clean.
  • One villager said: ‘My kitchen looks like a bomb's hit it at the moment.
  • Look at it, it looks like a bomb's hit it, it looks like a wasteland, there's not even a sign of a tree.



More example sentences
  • Cluster bombs contain as many as 200 smaller bomblets and up to 30% of these fail to explode on impact but, like landmines, remain deadly for many years.
  • We are calling on the British Government to commit to clearing up unexploded ordnance, including the cluster bomblets that have been left behind.
  • There is a significant ‘dud rate’ of about 5% which leaves many unexploded bomblets littering the ground with the potential to explode years later.


late 17th century: from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus 'booming, humming', from Greek bombos, of imitative origin.

More definitions of bomb

Definition of bomb in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody