AskDefine | Define bomb

Dictionary Definition



1 an explosive device fused to denote under specific conditions
2 strong sealed vessel for measuring heat of combustion [syn: bomb calorimeter]
3 an event that fails badly or is totally ineffectual; "the first experiment was a real turkey"; "the meeting was a dud as far as new business was concerned" [syn: turkey, dud]


1 throw bombs at or attack with bombs; "The Americans bombed Dresden" [syn: bombard]
2 fail to get a passing grade; "She studied hard but failed nevertheless"; "Did I fail the test?" [syn: fail, flunk, flush it] [ant: pass]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /bɑm/
  • Rhymes: -ɒm


From sc=Grek, imitative of the sound itself, via bombus.


  1. A device filled with explosives used for destroying things.
  2. : A failure; an unpopular commercial product.
    That movie was a bomb.
  3. A car in poor condition. Used often as old bomb.
  4. A success; the bomb.
    Our fabulous new crumpets have been selling like a bomb.
  5. A very attractive woman; a bombshell.
  6. A long forward pass.

Usage notes

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”.



a device filled with explosives
an unpopular commercial product
a car in poor condition
  • Maltese: karakka
a success
a very attractive woman
  • Maltese: bomba
  • Slovene: bomba

See also


  1. To attack something by using one or more bombs; to bombard.
  2. To fail spectacularly.
    Despite all the marketing, our product bombed. Nobody would buy it.
    Dunce cap bombed his examination yet again.

Derived terms


to attack with bombs
fail spectacularly


Verb form

  1. Imperative of bombe

Extensive Definition

The first air-dropped bombs were used by the Austrians in the 1849 siege of Venice. Two hundred unmanned balloons carried small bombs, few bombs actually hit Venice.
The first bombing from a fixed wing aircraft was in 1911 by the Italians against Arabs in what is now Libya. The bombs were dropped by hand. Today large bombers usually have an internal bomb bay while fighter bombers usually carry bombs externally on pylons or bomb racks, or on multiple ejection racks which enable mounting several bombs on a single pylon. Modern bombs, precision-guided munitions, may be guided after they leave an aircraft by remote control, or by autonomous guidance. When bombs such as nuclear weapons are mounted on a powered platform, they are called guided missiles.
Some bombs are equipped with a parachute, such as the World War II "parafrag", which was an 11 kg fragmentation bomb, the Vietnam-era daisy cutters, and the bomblets of some modern cluster bombs. Parachutes slow the bomb's descent, giving the dropping aircraft time to get to a safe distance from the explosion. This is especially important with airburst nuclear weapons, and in situations where the aircraft releases a bomb at low altitude.
A hand grenade is delivered by being thrown. Grenades can also be projected by other means using a grenade launcher, such as being launched from the muzzle of a rifle using the M203 or the GP-30 or by attaching a rocket to the explosive grenade as in a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).
A bomb may also be positioned in advance and concealed.
A bomb destroying a rail track just before a train arrives causes a train to derail. Apart from the damage to vehicles and people, a bomb exploding in a transport network often also damages, and is sometimes mainly intended to damage that network. This applies for railways, bridges, runways, and ports, and to a lesser extent, depending on circumstances, to roads.
In the case of suicide bombing the bomb is often carried by the attacker on his or her body, or in a vehicle driven to the target.
The Blue Peacock nuclear mines, which were also termed "bombs", were planned to be positioned during wartime and be constructed such that, if they were disturbed, they would explode within ten seconds.
The explosion of a bomb may be triggered by a detonator or a fuse. Detonators are triggered by clocks, remote controls like cell phones or some kind of sensor, such as pressure (altitude), radar, vibration or contact. Detonators vary in ways they work, they can be electrical, fire fuze or blast initiated detonators and others..


External links

bomb in Arabic: قنبلة
bomb in Catalan: Bomba (arma)
bomb in Czech: Bomba
bomb in Danish: Bombe
bomb in German: Bombe
bomb in Modern Greek (1453-): Βόμβα
bomb in Spanish: Bomba (explosivo)
bomb in Esperanto: Bombo
bomb in Persian: بمب
bomb in French: Bombe (militaire)
bomb in Korean: 폭탄
bomb in Croatian: Bomba
bomb in Indonesian: Bom
bomb in Italian: Bomba (ordigno)
bomb in Hebrew: מטען חבלה
bomb in Georgian: ბომბი
bomb in Lithuanian: Bomba
bomb in Hungarian: Bomba
bomb in Dutch: Bom (wapen)
bomb in Japanese: 爆弾
bomb in Norwegian: Bombe
bomb in Polish: Bomba
bomb in Portuguese: Bomba
bomb in Russian: Бомба
bomb in Simple English: Bomb
bomb in Finnish: Pommi
bomb in Swedish: Bomb
bomb in Thai: ระเบิด
bomb in Vietnamese: Bom
bomb in Turkish: Bomba
bomb in Ukrainian: Бомба
bomb in Yiddish: באמבע
bomb in Chinese: 炸弹

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

A-bomb, Grand Guignol, H-bomb, Passion play, Tom show, aerial bomb, antimasque, antipersonnel bomb, astonishment, atom-bomb, atomic bomb, audience success, ballet, batter, be a gas, be a hit, bill, blast, blitz, blockbuster, blow, blow to pieces, blow up, bombard, bombshell, broadcast drama, burlesque show, bust, cannonade, carcass, catch, charade, cliff hanger, closet drama, comedy drama, concussion grenade, crap out, critical success, daytime serial, depth bomb, depth charge, dialogue, dive-bomb, documentary drama, drama, dramalogue, dramatic play, dramatic series, dramatize, draw a blank, drop a bomb, drop the ball, dud, dull thud, duodrama, duologue, earthshaker, epic theater, experimental theater, explosive, extravaganza, eye-opener, fail, failure, fall flat, fan, feature, fire bomb, fireball, fizzle, flat failure, flop, floperoo, flummox, fold, fold up, frost, fusion bomb, gas grenade, gasser, get left, giveaway, glide-bomb, grenade, hand grenade, happening, headline, hit, hit show, hydrobomb, hydrogen bomb, improvisational drama, incendiary, incendiary bomb, incendiary grenade, infernal machine, joker, kicker, lay an egg, legitimate drama, lemon, lose out, loser, make a hit, masque, melodrama, melodramatize, mine, minstrel show, miracle, miracle play, monodrama, monologue, morality, morality play, mount, music drama, musical revue, mystery, mystery play, not hack it, not make it, open, open a show, opera, pageant, panel show, pantomime, pastoral, pastoral drama, peripeteia, petard, piece, pipe bomb, play, playlet, plutonium bomb, premiere, present, preview, problem play, produce, psychodrama, put on, quiz show, radio drama, razon bomb, revelation, review, revue, robot bomb, roc, rocket bomb, satchel charge, scenarize, sensational play, serial, set the stage, shell, shocker, show, sitcom, situation comedy, sketch, skip-bomb, skit, smoke bomb, soap, soap opera, sociodrama, spectacle, spring, stage, stage play, stage show, staggerer, star, startler, stench bomb, stink bomb, straight drama, strike out, succeed, success, surprisal, surprise, surprise ending, surprise package, surprise party, suspense drama, switch, tableau, tableau vivant, take the count, talk show, tear-gas bomb, tear-gas grenade, teleplay, television drama, television play, theater of cruelty, theatricalize, thermonuclear bomb, thunderbolt, thunderclap, time bomb, total loss, total theater, try out, turkey, variety show, vaudeville, vaudeville show, vehicle, wall grenade, washout, wear thin, whiff, word-of-mouth success, work
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