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bomb

[bom] /bɒm/
noun
1.
Military. a projectile, formerly usually spherical, filled with a bursting charge and exploded by means of a fuze, by impact, or otherwise, now generally designed to be dropped from an aircraft.
2.
any similar missile or explosive device used as a weapon, to disperse crowds, etc.:
a time bomb; a smoke bomb.
3.
Also called volcan·ic bomb·. Geology. a rough spherical or ellipsoidal mass of lava, ejected from a volcano and hardened while falling.
6.
Football. a long forward pass, especially one to a teammate who scores a touchdown.
7.
Slang. an absolute failure; fiasco:
The play was a bomb and closed after two performances.
Synonyms: flop, dud, bust, washout.
8.
Computers. a spectacular program failure or system failure.
9.
Slang. the bomb, something that is excellent or very impressive:
Her boyfriend is the bomb.
10.
Chiefly British Slang. an overwhelming success:
The novel is selling like a bomb.
11.
Jazz. a sudden, unexpected accent or rhythmic figure played by a drummer during a performance.
12.
a lead or lead-lined container for transporting and storing radioactive materials.
13.
the bomb.
  1. atomic bomb.
  2. nuclear weapons collectively.
14.
Slang. a powerful automobile or other vehicle.
15.
Slang. something unpleasant that is unexpected or shocking (often used in combination with the first letter of an offensive or unmentionable word, as in f-bomb; s-bomb; n-bomb): He's always dropping the f-bomb.
Then came the bomb about the staff cuts.
16.
Slang. something unauthorized or illegal that is executed in a stealthy manner, typically having an overwhelming or sensational effect (used in combination, as in mail bomb; graffiti bomb).
verb (used with object)
17.
to hurl bombs at or drop bombs upon, as from an airplane; bombard:
The enemy planes bombed the city.
18.
to explode by means of a bomb or explosive.
19.
Computers. to deliberately cause (a computer system) to fail with a program written for the purpose.
verb (used without object)
20.
to hurl or drop bombs.
21.
to explode a bomb or bombs.
22.
Slang. to spray-paint graffiti over many surfaces in an area, working quickly and using simple forms and designs:
He made his reputation bombing on the east side of town.
23.
Slang. to be or make a complete failure, especially to fail to please or gain an audience; (sometimes followed by out): His last play bombed on Broadway.
The business bombed out with a $25,000 debt.
Synonyms: fail, flop.
24.
(of a computer program or system) to fail spectacularly.
25.
Informal. to move very quickly:
They came bombing through here on their motorcycles at 2 a.m.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; earlier bom(b)e < Spanish bomba (de fuego) ‘ball (of fire)’, akin to bombo ‘drum’ < Latin bombus ‘a booming sound’ < Greek bómbos
Related forms
bombable, adjective
Can be confused
balm, bomb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bomb
  • Cheap light sensors can detonate a bomb in a dark room when a door is opened.
  • But you also don't want to wait until they're about to detonate a bomb.
  • For decades it waited for a bomb that never dropped.
  • Students who did do the work and bomb need more practice while students who didn't do the work and bomb also need more practice.
  • The same place that gave the world the atomic bomb has now found a way to ferret out illicit nuclear material.
  • They then made it look as if they had killed him in an exchange of gunfire as he was digging a hole for a roadside bomb.
  • One bomb could knock out power distribution that the country would have come to rely on heavily.
  • The van was towed away for further checks by the bomb squad.
  • Customs inspectors may have simply missed a smuggled bomb or batch of missiles.
  • We were herded into an abandoned bicycle factory, and attached was a time bomb.
British Dictionary definitions for bomb

bomb

/bɒm/
noun
1.
  1. a hollow projectile containing an explosive, incendiary, or other destructive substance, esp one carried by aircraft
  2. (as modifier) bomb disposal, a bomb bay
  3. (in combination) a bombload, bombproof
2.
any container filled with explosive a car bomb, a letter bomb
3.
the bomb
  1. a hydrogen or atomic bomb considered as the ultimate destructive weapon
  2. (slang) something excellent it's the bomb
4.
a round or pear-shaped mass of volcanic rock, solidified from molten lava that has been thrown into the air
5.
(med) a container for radioactive material, applied therapeutically to any part of the body a cobalt bomb
6.
(Brit, slang) a large sum of money (esp in the phrase make a bomb)
7.
(US & Canadian, slang) a disastrous failure the new play was a total bomb
8.
(Austral & NZ, slang) an old or dilapidated motorcar
9.
(American football) a very long high pass
10.
(in rugby union) another term for up-and-under
11.
(Brit & NZ, informal) like a bomb, with great speed or success; very well (esp in the phrase go like a bomb)
verb
12.
to attack with or as if with a bomb or bombs; drop bombs (on)
13.
(intransitive; often foll by off, along, etc) (informal) to move or drive very quickly
14.
(intransitive) (slang) to fail disastrously; be a flop the new play bombed See also bomb out
Word Origin
C17: from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus a booming sound, from Greek bombos, of imitative origin; compare Old Norse bumba drum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bomb
n.

1580s, from French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus "a deep, hollow noise; a buzzing or booming sound," from Greek bombos "deep and hollow sound," echoic. Originally of mortar shells, etc.; modern sense of "explosive device placed by hand or dropped from airplane" is 1909. Meaning "old car" is from 1953. Meaning "success" is from 1954 (late 1990s slang the bomb "the best" is probably a fresh formation); opposite sense of "a failure" is from 1963. The bomb "atomic bomb" is from 1945.

v.

1680s, from bomb (n.). Meaning "to fail" attested from 1963. Related: Bombed; bombing. Slang bombed "drunk" is attested by 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bomb

bomb

noun
  1. A conspicuous and total failure; blast, flop (1950s+ Show business)
  2. A car, esp a hot rod (1950s+ Hot rodders)
  3. (also bomber) An especially big marijuana cigarette (1950s+ Narcotics)
  4. Heroin (1950s+ Narcotics)
  5. Something very good: teenagers come home from a movie and say it was a ''bomb,'' yet insist on seeing it again and again (1990s+ Teenagers)
verb
  1. : The show bombed everywhere on the road/ I took the test, and bombed (1960s+ Show business)
  2. To dovery well at or on: I really bombed the math test, aced it (1960s+ Students)
  3. To go very fast; plunge: found the discarded relics ideal for bombing down the dirt slopes of Mt Tam (1960s+)
  4. To paint graffiti on; tag: His favorite stylin'-and-bombin' wall, tagged with the rebellious urban scrawl of graffiti artists (1980s+)
Related Terms

drop bombs, dumb bomb, stink bomb

[in the sense of failure, perhaps fr the outdated expression make a baum of it, ''fail'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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bomb in Technology


1. General synonym for crash except that it is not used as a noun. Especially used of software or OS failures. "Don't run Empire with less than 32K stack, it'll bomb".
2. Atari ST and Macintosh equivalents of a Unix "panic" or Amiga guru, in which icons of little black-powder bombs or mushroom clouds are displayed, indicating that the system has died. On the Macintosh, this may be accompanied by a decimal (or occasionally hexadecimal) number indicating what went wrong, similar to the Amiga guru meditation number. MS-DOS computers tend to lock up in this situation.
3. A piece of code embedded in a program that remains dormant until it is triggered. Logic bombs are triggered by an event whereas time bombs are triggered either after a set amount of time has elapsed, or when a specific date is reached.
[Jargon File]
(1996-12-08)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Idioms and Phrases with bomb
see: time bomb
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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