see also: Bomb
  • (British, Australia) IPA: /bɒm/
  • (America) IPA: /bɑm/

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. (figurative) Events or conditions that have a speedy destructive effect.
    3. (colloquial) Any explosive charge.
  2. (slang) A failure; an unpopular commercial product.
    box office bomb
    • 1997, Eric L. Flom, Chaplin in the Sound Era: An Analysis of the Seven Talkies, [|film+was+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LZP9TpugE6maiQe1sOj-Cg&sqi=2&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=%22the%20movie|film%20was%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false 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, [|film+was+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LZP9TpugE6maiQe1sOj-Cg&sqi=2&ved=0CGIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=%22the%20movie|film%20was%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false 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, [|film+was+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=aJv9TpWgCMaTiAeUv-WvAQ&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=%22the%20movie|film%20was%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false 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.
      Synonyms: rustbucket
      • 2005 August 6, Warm affection for a rust-bucket past, Sydney Morning Herald
        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.
    Synonyms: fortune, packet, pretty penny
    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, [|cost+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4MH9TqmICbGaiAfXpcDVAQ&ved=0CF0Q6AEwCTgK#v=onepage&q=%22spent|cost%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false 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, [|cost+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4MH9TqmICbGaiAfXpcDVAQ&ved=0CFcQ6AEwCDgK#v=onepage&q=%22spent|cost%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false page 47],
      The kids cost a bomb to feed, they eat all the time.
    • 2011, Bibe, A Victim, [|cost+a+bomb%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4MH9TqmICbGaiAfXpcDVAQ&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=%22spent|cost%20a%20bomb%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false 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, British, slang) A success; the bomb.
      Our fabulous new crumpets have been selling like a bomb.
    2. (chiefly, British, India, slang) A very attractive woman.
      Synonyms: 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. (basketball, slang) A throw into the basket from a considerable distance.
      • 2013, Brett L. Abrams, ‎Raphael Mazzone, The Bullets, the Wizards, and Washington, DC, Basketball (page 163)
        With five seconds remaining, Smith received the inbounds pass and launched a bomb that dropped through the net to give his team an 80-79 victory.
  5. A cyclone whose central pressure drops at an average rate of at least one millibar per hour for at least 24 hours.
  6. (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.
  7. (obsolete) A great booming noise; a hollow sound.
    • 1627, [Francis Bacon], “II. Century.”, in Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. […], London: Published after the authors death, by VVilliam Rawley; printed by I[ohn] H[aviland and Augustine Mathewes] for William Lee […], OCLC 1044242069 ↗; Sylua Syluarum: Or A Naturall Historie. In Ten Centuries. […], 3rd edition, London: Published […] by VVilliam Rawley. Printed by J[ohn] H[aviland] for William Lee […], 1631, OCLC 1044372886 ↗, paragraph 151, [;view=1up;seq=65 page 47]:
      a Pillar of Iron […] Which if you had ſtrucke […] it would make a great Bombe in the Chamber beneath.
  8. (slang) A woman’s breast.
  9. (professional wrestling) A professional wrestling throw in which an opponent is lifted and then slammed back-first down to the mat.
  10. (slang) A recreational drug ground up, wrapped, and swallowed.
  11. (colloquial) An act of jumping into water while keeping one's arms and legs tucked into the body, as in a squatting position, to maximize splashing.
    Synonyms: cannonball
Translations Translations
  • Russian: развалю́ха
Translations Translations
  • German: Bombe
  • Russian: сосу́д высокий
Translations Verb

bomb (bombs, present participle bombing; 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, [|%22bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&dq=%22bombing%22|%22bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=89H9TpLeI8eUiAfyq8W7AQ&redir_esc=y 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, [|%22bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WM79TsG7DeyhiAen6LXGAQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bombing%22|%22bombed%22%20-intitle%3A%22bombing|bombed%22&f=false 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, [|%22bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7Mv9Ttn4MMmWiQeL59TFCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bombing%22|%22bombed%22%20-intitle%3A%22bombing|bombed%22&f=false 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, [|it+bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v9b9Tsz_MM-QiQeBz5CADw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22he|it%20bombed%22%20-intitle%3A%22bombing|bombed%22&f=false 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, [|it+bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=v9b9Tsz_MM-QiQeBz5CADw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22he|it%20bombed%22%20-intitle%3A%22bombing|bombed%22&f=false 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, [|it+bombed%22+-intitle:%22bombing|bombed%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Itz9ToLbCuuXiAe1q-2fCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22he|it%20bombed%22%20-intitle%3A%22bombing|bombed%22&f=false 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.
    • 1625, Ben Jonson, The Fortunate Isles and Their Union
      What over-charged piece of melancholie / Is this, breakes in betweene my wishes thus, / With bombing sighs?
  5. (slang) To cover an area in many graffiti tags.
  6. (informal) To add an excessive amount of chlorine to a pool when it has not been maintained properly.
  7. (slang, reflexive) To make oneself drunk.
    • 1995, Four Rooms (film)
      TED: The champagne you ordered, sir.
      MAN: No time for this. Leave it on ice.
      WIFE: But I want some now...
      MAN: There'll be plenty for you at the party, baby, you can bomb yourself all you want at the party.
  8. (informal, especially with along, down, up etc.) To move at high speed.
    I was bombing down the road on my motorbike.
Translations Translations
  • German: eine Arschbombe machen
  • Spanish: hacer la bomba


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



  1. (informal) The atomic bomb; the capacity to launch a nuclear attack.
    Pakistan and India both have the Bomb now.

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