a. An explosive weapon detonated by impact, proximity to an object, a timing mechanism, or other means.
b. An atomic or nuclear bomb. Used with the.
2. Any of various weapons detonated to release destructive material, such as smoke or gas.
a. A container capable of withstanding high internal pressure.
b. A vessel for storing compressed gas.
c. A portable, manually operated container that ejects a spray, foam, or gas under pressure.
4. Football A long forward pass.
5. Geology A lump of lava that has been violently ejected from a volcano and has solidified while in the air.
6. Slang A dismal failure; a fiasco.
7. Slang An old car.
8. Slang One that is excellent or superior. Used with the.
9. Chiefly British Slang
a. A large amount of money.
b. A great success.
v. bombed, bomb·ing, bombs
To attack, damage, or destroy with or as if with bombs.
1. To drop a bomb or bombs.
2. Slang To fail miserably: The play bombed.
3. Slang To paint a graffito.
[French bombe, from Italian bomba, probably from Latin bombus, a booming sound, from Greek bombos, of imitative origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.