air raid

a raid by aircraft, especially for bombing a particular area.


air-raid, adjective
air raider, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
air raid
a.  an attack by hostile aircraft
 b.  (as modifier): an air-raid shelter

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

air raid
1914, from air (1) + raid; originally in ref. to British attacks Sept. 22, 1914, on Zeppelin bases at Cologne and Düsseldorf in WWI. The Ger. word is Fliegerangriff "aviator-attack," and if O.E. had survived into the 20th century our word instead might be fleogende-ongrype.
"One didn't dare to inhale for fear of breathing it in. It was the sound of eighteen hundred airplanes approaching Hamburg from the south at an unimaginable height. We had already experienced two hundred or even more air raids, among them some very heavy ones, but this was something completely new. And yet there was an immediate recognition: this was what everyone had been waiting for, what had hung for months like a shadow over everything we did, making us weary. It was the end." [Hans Erich Nossack, "Der Untergang," 1942]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Her husband had been killed in an air raid during the war.
Anyone after an air raid who was caught uttering defeatist words was strung up on a lamppost on the spot.
When the air raid started, the whole patiently marching crowd was suddenly filled with panic.
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