Pearl Harbor

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Etymology 1[edit]

From Hawaiian Wai Nomi (pearl water).

Proper noun[edit]

Pearl Harbor

  1. Deep water harbor on Oahu, Hawaii
  2. US Navy base at the harbor.

Etymology 2[edit]

From the December 7, 1941, surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor.


Pearl Harbor

  1. A sneak attack, often using underhanded measures.
    • 2002, Richard F. Hill, Hitler Attacks Pearl Harbor: Why the United States Declared War on Germany, page 85
      Most Americans wanted no more Pearl Harbors, but they now expected Germany to attempt one.
  2. A seminal dramatic event that unites a community and arouses it into action against an enemy.
    • 2012 July 6, Milton Clary (interviewee), Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai (author), “Drone Hijacking? That’s Just the Start of GPS Troubles” [1], Wired
      “We certainly don’t want a GPS Pearl Harbor, but probably it’s gonna take a GPS Mogadishu to get people’s attention.”


Proper noun[edit]

Pearl Harbor f

  1. Pearl Harbor (a harbour on Hawaii)