bomb

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See also: Bomb and bombe

English[edit]

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A bomb (explosive device).

Etymology[edit]

From French bombe, from Italian bomba, from Latin bombus (a booming sound), from Ancient Greek βόμβος (bómbos, booming, humming, buzzing), imitative of the sound itself.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bomb (plural bombs)

  1. An explosive device used or intended as a weapon.
    • 2008, Sidney Gelb, Foreign Service Agent, page 629,
      The size of the ground hole crater from the blast indicates it was a bomb.
    1. (dated) The atomic bomb.
      During the Cold War, everyone worried about the bomb sometimes.
    2. (figuratively) Events or conditions that have a speedy destructive effect.
  2. (slang) A failure; an unpopular commercial product.
    • 1997, Eric L. Flom, Chaplin in the Sound Era: An Analysis of the Seven Talkies, page 277,
      Projection problems plagued Countess′ London premiere on January 5, 1967, Jerry Epstein recalled, and it was perhaps an omen, for reaction by critics afterward was swift and immediate: The film was a bomb.
    • 2010, Tony Curtis, Peter Golenbock, American Prince: My Autobiography, unnumbered page,
      The movie was a bomb and so was my next film, Balboa, in which I played a scheming real estate tycoon.
    • 2011, Elizabeth Barfoot Christian, Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture, page 11,
      The movie was a bomb, but it put the band before an even larger audience.
    1. (US, Australia, informal) A car in poor condition.
      • 2005 August 6, Warm affection for a rust-bucket past, Sydney Morning Herald [1]
        Nowadays, an old bomb simply won’t pass the inspection.
      • 2010, Rebecca James, Beautiful Malice, page 19,
        We′ve got the money and it just feels ridiculous to let you drive around in that old bomb.
      • 2011, Amarinda Jones, Seducing Celestine, page 49,
        After two weeks of driving it she knew the car was a bomb and she did not need anyone saying it to her. The only one allowed to pick on her car was her. Piece of crap car []
  3. (UK, slang) A large amount of money, a fortune.
    make a bomb;  cost a bomb
    • 2009, Matthew Vierling, The Blizzard, page 133,
      When Kiley presented Blackpool with the custom shotgun, he said, “This must′ve cost a bomb.”
    • 2010, Liz Young, Fair Game, page 136,
      ‘You′ve already spent a bomb!’
      ‘Not on it, Sal — under it. Presents!’ As we eventually staggered up to bed, Sally said to me, ‘I hope to God he′s not been spending a bomb on presents, too. []
    • 2011, Michael R. Häack, Passport: A Novel of International Intrigue, page 47,
      The kids cost a bomb to feed, they eat all the time.
    • 2011, Bibe, A Victim, page 38,
      He had recently exchanged his old bike for a new, three speed racer, which cost a bomb and the weekly payment were becoming difficult, with the dangers of repossession.
  4. (social) Something highly effective or attractive.
    1. (chiefly UK, slang) A success; the bomb.
      Our fabulous new crumpets have been selling like a bomb.
    2. (chiefly UK, slang) A very attractive woman; a bombshell.
    3. (often in combination) An action or statement that causes a strong reaction.
      It was an ordinary speech, until the president dropped a bomb: he would be retiring for medical reasons.
      Normally very controlled, he dropped the F-bomb and cursed the paparazzi.
    4. (American football, slang) A long forward pass.
    5. (informal) A jump into water in a squatting position, with the arms wrapped around the legs, for maximum splashing.
  5. (chemistry) A heavy-walled container designed to permit chemical reactions under high pressure.
    • 2008, François Cardarelli, Materials Handbook: A Concise Desktop Reference, page 276,
      The process consisted in preparing the metal by metallothermic reduction of titanium tetrachloride with sodium metal in a steel bomb.
  6. (obsolete) A great booming noise; a hollow sound.
    • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
      A pillar of iron [] which if you had struck, would make [] a great bomb in the chamber beneath.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The diametrical slang meanings are somewhat distinguishable by the article. For “a success”, the phrase is generally the bomb. Otherwise bomb can mean “a failure”.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

bomb (third-person singular simple present bombs, present participle bombing, simple past and past participle bombed)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To attack using one or more bombs; to bombard.
    • 2000, Canadian Peace Research Institute, Canadian Peace Research and Education Association, Peace Research, Volumes 32-33, page 65,
      15 May: US jets bombed air-defence sites north of Mosul, as the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the US and Britain of intentionally bombing civilian targets. (AP)
    • 2005, Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, page 421,
      Italy had bombed cities in the Ethiopian war; Italy and Germany had bombed civilians in the Spanish Civil War; at the start of World War II German planes dropped bombs on Rotterdam in Holland, Coventry in England, and elsewhere.
    • 2007, David Parker, Hertfordshire Children in War and Peace, 1914-1939, page 59,
      Essendon was bombed in the early hours of 3 September 1916; a few houses and part of the church were destroyed, and two sisters killed.
  2. (intransitive, slang) To fail dismally.
    • 1992 June, Lynn Norment, Arsenio Hall: Claiming the Late-night Crown, in Ebony, page 74,
      So Hall quit the job, turned in the company car and went to Chicago, where as a stand-up comic he bombed several times before he was discovered by Nancy Wilson, who took him on the road — where he bombed again before a room of Republicans—and then to Los Angeles.
    • 2000, Carmen Infantino, Jon B. Cooke (interviewer), The Carmen Infantino Interview, in Jon B. Cooke, Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Collection, page 12,
      Carmen: [] Then it bombed and it bombed badly. After a few more issues I asked Mike what was happening and he said, “I′m trying everything I can but it′s just not working.” So I took him off the book and he left. That was it.
    • 2008, Erik Sternberger, The Long and Winding Road, page 62,
      She was the reason why he bombed the interview. He just couldn′t seem to get her out of his mind.
  3. (informal) To jump into water in a squatting position, with the arms wrapped around the legs.
  4. (obsolete) To sound; to boom; to make a humming or buzzing sound.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)
  5. (slang) To cover an area in many graffiti tags.
    • 2009, Scape Martinez, GRAFF: The Art & Technique of Graffiti (page 124)
      It is often used to collect other writer's tags, and future plans for bombing and piecing.
  6. (informal, Australia) to add an excessive amount of chlorine to a pool when it has not been maintained properly.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

bomb (comparative more bomb, superlative most bomb)

  1. (slang) Great, awesome.
    Have you tried the new tacos from that restaurant? They're pretty bomb!

See also[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

bomb

  1. imperative of bombe

Swedish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bomb c

  1. a bomb

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]